Within days of publishing an open letter criticizing their boss Elon Musk, some SpaceX employees are reportedly now out of a job.
That’s according to the New York Times, which cited three employees who claimed SpaceX dismissed some of those who had organized the letter calling the Tesla CEO’s public actions and tweeting “a frequent source of distraction and embarrassment.”
The terminations were also confirmed in an email obtained by the Times, from Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX’s president and chief operating officer, who reportedly said “a number” of those involved were no longer working with the company.
“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,” Shotwell wrote. “We have too much critical work to accomplish and no need for this kind of overreaching activism.”
The letter from employees at the space exploration company — exactly how many signed it is unclear — also urged the company to “publicly address and condemn Elon’s harmful Twitter behavior.”
Weeks earlier, Insider reported on a sexual-misconduct allegation against Musk from a former SpaceX flight attendant in 2018. Musk has denied the claims and said the allegation is “utterly untrue.”
News of SpaceX employee dismissals also come a day after Musk addressed Twitter
employees, as he seeks to push forward with his $44 billion bid for the company. The entrenprenuer was reportedly late to the live virtual broadcast where he revealed he wasn’t a big fan of remote working.
When asked about possible layoffs, Musk said significant contributors to the firm had no worries, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Neither a representative for Tesla nor SpaceX immediately responded to MarketWatch requests for comment.