SpaceX fired a number of employees who wrote and shared a letter criticizing CEO Elon Musk’s behavior, reports The New York Times.
The open letter, first reported by The edge, described Musk’s behavior as “a frequent source of distraction and embarrassment for us, especially in recent weeks.” He cites SpaceX’s “No Asshole” policy and asks the company to “publicly expose and condemn Elon’s harmful behavior on Twitter.”
The letter writers said, “As CEO and most prominent spokesperson, Elon is considered the face of SpaceX – every Tweet sent by Elon is a de facto public statement of the company. It is essential to make it clear to our teams and our potential talent pool that its message does not reflect our work, our mission or our values.
A number of the letter writers were fired on Thursday afternoon, reports the Timeciting sources within the company as well as an email sent by SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell.
In the email, Shotwell said SpaceX “terminated a number of employees involved” with the letter. “The letter, the solicitations and the general process made employees feel uncomfortable, intimidated and intimidated and/or angry because the letter caused them to sign something that did not reflect their point of view,” said Shotwell writes in the email. “We have too much critical work to do and we don’t need this kind of excessive activism.”
We’ve reached out to SpaceX for comment and will update this story if we get back to you.
Musk has long been a volatile figure, but since his proposed acquisition of Twitter in April — a $44 billion deal that has yet to be finalized — his behavior has drawn even more attention. Last month, Initiated reported that SpaceX paid a flight attendant $250,000 after Musk exposed himself to her and made her a proposition. Musk then joked about the incident on Twitter, telling another user “if you touch my sausage, you can have a horse.”