May 30, 2023

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SpaceX Fires Employees Behind Musk Open Letter


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SpaceX has produced it clear, in no uncertain phrases, that criticism of founder and CEO Elon Musk will not be tolerated. Just days immediately after a team of staff released an open up letter criticizing Musk, some of these associated have identified on their own out of a occupation. SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell despatched an electronic mail (that didn’t tackle the articles of the letter), expressing the writers created some others “uncomfortable” with the launch and violated the firm handbook by asking workforce to signal the statement.

The letter, produced in an inside Microsoft Teams chat with extra than 2,600 staff, questioned the enterprise to different alone from Musk’s progressively erratic on-line persona. In the months due to the fact claims of sexual misconduct surfaced, Musk has made use of his Twitter account to discuss out towards “wokeness,” minimal delivery prices, and Democrats. 

Shotwell’s letter, produced by The Verge, notes that this is a fast paced time for SpaceX. It has various launches coming up in the up coming 7 days, and it has to aid the just lately introduced Dragon cargo mission. SpaceX is also moving towards the very first orbital launch of Starship this summer time. The open letter claimed that Elon Musk’s on-line conduct is a distraction to the team, but Shotwell suggests, no, it’s the letter that was the distraction. 

Elon Musk has been locked in an more and more weird community battle to total his purchase of Twitter, an effort he promises is about no cost speech. Twitter has come underneath hearth from conservatives for its determination to suppress COVID and election misinformation, as well as the banning of previous president Trump. Even with calling himself a “free speech absolutist,” Musk has routinely cracked down on dissent at his organizations — the newest firings at SpaceX are just the most modern illustration. 

It is unclear how a lot of personnel have gotten the axe following the letter’s launch, but the doc at first claimed it was the merchandise of months of opinions from personnel across the company at different concentrations of seniority. The team sought to have a lot more employees sign on, both by identify or anonymously. Shotwell’s letter calls this an instance of “overreaching activism.” At minimum just one employee, who is remaining anonymous for obvious causes, states Shotwell’s electronic mail is seen as “tone deaf” by personnel. Nonetheless, it is not likely any one will say that out loud now.

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