SpaceX lays off employees who participated in the Letter Critical of Musk, Company

SpaceX fired several employees in a letter criticizing CEO Elon Musk and the way the company enforces internal rules, according to an email to SpaceX president’s staff and people familiar with the matter.

Gwynne Shotwell, president of SpaceX, said the company was investigating and had decided to fire some of its employees, according to the email, a copy of which was seen in the Wall Street Journal. Her email did not say how many people the company had left and that number could not be immediately determined.

Some company employees recently wrote a letter describing Mr. Musk’s public statements and behavior, especially in recent weeks, as embarrassing and distracting. The letter called on SpaceX’s management to publicly separate the company from Mr Musk’s personal name and take action to address what he said was a gap between SpaceX’s stated values ​​and its current systems and corporate culture. .

Private SpaceX, based in Hawthorne, California, has about 12,000 employees, CEO Elon Musk said recently.


Alisha Jucevic / Bloomberg News

Ms Shotwell said the effort was distracting from SpaceX’s work, including the upcoming satellite launches and the expected first attempt to launch the huge Starship rocket system into orbit. The letter upset many employees, Ms Shotwell said, adding that they had been pressured to “sign something that did not reflect their views”.

“We have a very critical task to complete and we do not need this kind of excessive activism,” he said in the email.

Space Exploration Technologies Corp., the official name of SpaceX, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The New York Times reported earlier on Ms. Shotwell’s email.

It was not possible to determine how many people signed the letter from officials criticizing Mr Musk. Private SpaceX has about 12,000 employees, Musk said recently.

In her email, Ms. Shotwell said SpaceX’s current leadership team is committed to ensuring that the company has an excellent work environment. criticized how those involved in the letter used SpaceX resources.

“Covering thousands of people across the company with repetitive spam and asking them to sign letters and complete sponsorship inquiries during the business day is not acceptable,” he said.

After months of delays, the FAA has released its long-awaited environmental assessment of SpaceX South Texas’ Starbase launch site. WSJ Micah Maidenberg explains what the decision about SpaceX and the company’s Starship program means in the future. Photo illustration: Alexander Hotz / WSJ

Write to Micah Maidenberg at

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