SpaceX reportedly fired the employees who helped write a scathing open letter hitting out at CEO Elon Musk, the Washington Post has reported.
What are the details?
The outlet reported that the letter was "critical" of Musk's Twitter behavior.
"In an email to employees Thursday reviewed by The Washington Post, the rocket company’s president, Gwynne Shotwell, said the letter 'made employees feel uncomfortable, intimidated and bullied [sic]' and pressured into signing a document that did not reflect their views," the Post shared.
The workers, Shotwell added, were terminated. She did not specify the number of employees that lost their jobs as a result of the letter.
The outlet reported that Shotwell said the letter "threatened to derail SpaceX's focus on several key tasks" including at least three launches.
“We have 3 launches within 37 hours for critical satellites this weekend, we have to support the astronauts we delivered to the [International Space Station] and get cargo Dragon [SpaceX’s unmanned flight capsule] back to flight-ready, and after receiving environmental approval early this week, we are on the cusp of the first orbital launch attempt of Starship,” Shotwell said. “We have too much critical work to accomplish and no need for this kind of overreaching activism — our current leadership team is more dedicated to ensuring we have a great and ever-improving work environment than any I have seen in my 35-year career.”
Shotwell added, "Please stay focused on the SpaceX mission, and use your time at work to do your best work. This is how we will get to Mars."
What was in the open letter?
The letter, which was shared across the internet, criticized Musk's online — and sometimes offline — behavior is a "frequent source of distraction and embarrassment" to those in the company.
The letter requested SpaceX employees to sign the letter and encouraged them to discuss their personal experiences at the company and with Musk, demanding that executives "publicly address and condemn Elon's harmful Twitter behavior."
“SpaceX must swiftly and explicitly separate itself from Elon’s personal brand,” a portion of the letter stated, later adding, "The collaboration we need to make life multiplanetary is incompatible with a culture that treats employees as consumable resources. Our unique position requires us to consider how our actions today will shape the experiences of individuals beyond our planet. Is the culture we are fostering now the one which we aim to bring to Mars and beyond?”