SpaceX has fired a number of employees who have written 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.” It cites SpaceX’s “No Asshole” policy and asks the company to “publicly denounce and condemn Elon’s harmful Twitter behavior”.
The letter writers said: “As our CEO and most prominent spokesperson, Elon is seen as the face of SpaceX – every tweet Elon sends is a de facto public statement by the company. It is critical to communicate clearly to our teams and our potential talent pool. that his messages do not reflect our work, our mission or our values.”
A number of the authors of the letter were fired on Thursday afternoon, the report said Timeciting sources in the company and an email from SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell.
In the email, Shotwell said SpaceX had “terminated a number of involved employees” with the letter. “The letter, requests and general process left employees feeling uncomfortable, intimidated and bullied and/or angry because the letter pressured them to sign anything that did not reflect their views,” Shotwell wrote in the email. “We have too much critical work to do and we don’t need this kind of exaggerated activism.”
We have reached out to SpaceX for comment and will update this story if we hear anything.
Musk has long been a volatile figure, but since his proposed takeover of Twitter in April — a $44 billion deal yet to close — his behavior has attracted even more attention. Last month, Insider reported that SpaceX paid a flight attendant $250,000 after Musk allegedly exposed himself to her and made her an offer. Musk later joked about the incident on Twitter, telling another user, “If you touch my sausage, you can have a horse.”