Hawthorne (The Times Groupe)- SpaceX has reportedly fired employees involved in writing and disseminating an open letter criticizing its CEO Elon Musk.
The letter was posted on the SpaceX Microsoft Teams channel, which reaches more than 2,600 employees, The Verge reported. The report calls Musk’s behavior on Twitter and in other public forums “frequent sources of distraction and embarrassment for us, particularly in recent weeks.”
The letter attracted a lot of attention, including inside SpaceX’s offices: By yesterday afternoon, the company had already fired some of the people responsible for writing and sending it, The New York Times reported.
The Times cited interviews with three SpaceX employees who requested anonymity as well as an email sent by Gwynne Shotwell, the company’s president and chief operating officer. According to The Times, Shotwell wrote that SpaceX had “terminated a number of employees involved” with the letter.
‘The letter, solicitations and general process made employees feel uncomfortable, intimidated and bullied, as well as angry because the letter pressured them into signing something that did not reflect their views,’ Shotwell said, according to The Times. “We have too much critical work to accomplish, and we don’t need this kind of overreaching activism.”
According to the Times, it was unclear how many employees were fired as a result of their involvement with the letter. SpaceX has not yet responded to requests for comment about the letter or the reports of firings, both outlets said. Reuters reported today(opens in new tab) that at least five people have been fired.
Musk is active on Twitter, which he is in the process of purchasing for $44 billion. He often posts on the site, sometimes making crude jokes, expressing controversial opinions about public health and insulting people with whom he is feuding(opens in new tab).