June 1, 2023


It's the Technology

SpaceX Fires Employees Behind Musk Open Letter


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SpaceX has built it obvious, in no uncertain conditions, that criticism of founder and CEO Elon Musk will not be tolerated. Just days following a team of workers launched an open letter criticizing Musk, some of these included have identified by themselves out of a position. SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell despatched an e mail (that didn’t tackle the written content of the letter), indicating the writers designed other individuals “uncomfortable” with the launch and violated the firm handbook by inquiring workforce to signal the statement.

The letter, introduced in an internal Microsoft Teams chat with extra than 2,600 staff, asked the enterprise to different alone from Musk’s ever more erratic on the internet persona. In the months due to the fact promises of sexual misconduct surfaced, Musk has employed his Twitter account to talk out towards “wokeness,” low delivery charges, and Democrats. 

Shotwell’s letter, produced by The Verge, notes that this is a fast paced time for SpaceX. It has many launches coming up in the up coming 7 days, and it has to support the just lately introduced Dragon cargo mission. SpaceX is also transferring toward the first orbital launch of Starship this summer time. The open up letter claimed that Elon Musk’s on the web actions is a distraction to the workforce, but Shotwell states, no, it is the letter that was the distraction. 

Elon Musk has been locked in an ever more strange public struggle to full his acquire of Twitter, an energy he statements is about absolutely free speech. Twitter has occur beneath hearth from conservatives for its decision to suppress COVID and election misinformation, as perfectly as the banning of previous president Trump. Even with calling himself a “free speech absolutist,” Musk has routinely cracked down on dissent at his corporations — the latest firings at SpaceX are just the most the latest illustration. 

It is unclear how a lot of staff have gotten the axe next the letter’s release, but the document initially stated it was the products of months of responses from staff members across the corporation at different concentrations of seniority. The team sought to have much more employees indicator on, either by name or anonymously. Shotwell’s letter calls this an illustration of “overreaching activism.” At minimum 1 employee, who is remaining anonymous for obvious motives, suggests Shotwell’s email is witnessed as “tone deaf” by personnel. Nonetheless, it’s unlikely any person will say that out loud now.

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