SpaceX Fires Workers Behind Musk Open Letter

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SpaceX has made it clear, in no unsure phrases, that criticism of founder and CEO Elon Musk won’t be tolerated. Simply days after a bunch of staff launched an open letter criticizing Musk, a few of these concerned have discovered themselves out of a job. SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell despatched an e mail (that didn’t handle the content material of the letter), saying the writers made others “uncomfortable” with the discharge and violated the corporate handbook by asking staff to signal the assertion.

The letter, launched in an inner Microsoft Groups chat with greater than 2,600 staff, requested the corporate to separate itself from Musk’s more and more erratic on-line persona. Within the weeks since claims of sexual misconduct surfaced, Musk has used his Twitter account to talk out in opposition to “wokeness,” low start charges, and Democrats. 

Shotwell’s letter, launched by The Verge, notes that this can be a busy time for SpaceX. It has a number of launches developing within the subsequent week, and it has to help the not too long ago launched Dragon cargo mission. SpaceX can be transferring towards the primary orbital launch of Starship this summer time. The open letter claimed that Elon Musk’s on-line conduct is a distraction to the workforce, however Shotwell says, no, it’s the letter that was the distraction. 

Elon Musk has been locked in an more and more weird public battle to finish his buy of Twitter, an effort he claims is about free speech. Twitter has come beneath fireplace from conservatives for its resolution to suppress COVID and election misinformation, in addition to the banning of former president Trump. Regardless of calling himself a “free speech absolutist,” Musk has routinely cracked down on dissent at his firms — the most recent firings at SpaceX are simply the latest instance. 

It’s unclear what number of staff have gotten the axe following the letter’s launch, however the doc initially mentioned it was the product of weeks of suggestions from staff throughout the corporate at various ranges of seniority. The group sought to have extra staff signal on, both by identify or anonymously. Shotwell’s letter calls this an instance of “overreaching activism.” At the least one worker, who’s remaining nameless for apparent causes, says Shotwell’s e mail is seen as “tone deaf” by workers. Nonetheless, it’s unlikely anybody will say that out loud now.

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