A handful of SpaceX employees have been fired for penning a letter that critiqued the company's CEO, Elon Musk.
The letter raised concerns about Musk's public behavior negatively impacting SpaceX's image.
It read in part:
"Elon’s behavior in the public sphere is a frequent source of distraction and embarrassment for us, particularly in recent weeks."
“As our CEO and most prominent spokesperson, Elon is seen as the face of SpaceX—every Tweet that Elon sends is a de facto public statement by the company."
"It is critical to make clear to our teams and to our potential talent pool that his messaging does not reflect our work, our mission, or our values.”
Musk was called out for problematic and unusual statements in the past.
Earlier this year, the billionaire was accused of sexually harassing and paying off a flight attendant.
The letter writers referred to the incident, saying it goes against the company's "No A**holes" and sexual misconduct policies.
According to The Verge, employees were urged to sign the letter and many agreed with the points discussed in an internal Microsoft Team's channel. It is unknown how many signatures the letter collected.
SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell confirmed the sackings via a company wide email that read in part:
“The letter, solicitations and general process made employees feel uncomfortable, intimidated and bullied, and/or angry because the letter pressured them to sign onto something that did not reflect their views."
She also defended her boss, saying:
“Personally, I believe the allegations to be false; not because I work for Elon, but because I have worked closely with him for 20 years and never seen nor heard anything resembling these allegations.”
“Anyone who knows Elon like I do, knows he would never conduct or condone this alleged inappropriate behavior.”
Twitter users reacted to news of the firings, pointing out Musk's past lauding of "free speech" meaning freedom from consequences.
Others criticized the company's culture and current state of affairs.
The letter is no surprise.
Workers all over the United States are no longer tolerating bad behavior in their leadership.
Musk himself has not commented on the firings or the letter.
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