SpaceX fires staff over letter critical of Elon Musk

SpaceX has fired “a number of employees” responsible for an open letter critical of the behaviour of Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk, according to an internal memo.

The open letter, which began circulating among staff in recent days, called Musk’s behaviour and tweets “a frequent source of distraction and embarrassment for us, particularly in recent weeks.”

The letter, which was viewed by Bloomberg, called on SpaceX leadership to condemn and distance itself from Musk’s “personal brand.”

SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said in an internal email also seen by Bloomberg that the company investigated the open letter and has terminated employees involved.

The firings were reported earlier by the New York Times. A separate report from Reuters said at least five workers were fired.

SpaceX didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The upheaval hints at discord internally at the rocket launch and satellite communications company over the billionaire’s frequently controversial comments, whether over his stances on overtly political topics, crass tweets or references to drug culture.

Last month, Insider reported that Space Exploration Technologies Corp. had paid an employee $250,000 to settle a claim she was sexually harassed by Musk in 2016. He has pushed back against the allegations, calling them “utterly untrue.”

Musk also is in a contentious process to acquire Twitter Inc. for $44 billion.

He met with employees Thursday for the first time, where he said people should be allowed to say “pretty outrageous things” on the social-media platform.


Now read: Elon Musk could get more Twitter data than he bargained for

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SpaceX fires staff over letter critical of Elon Musk