SpaceX, Run By Self-Proclaimed Free Speech Advocate Elon Musk, Fires Multiple Employees For Writing An Open Letter That Was Critical Of Musk

SpaceX Fires Employees Who Wrote Letter That Criticized Elon Musk

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  • SpaceX has fired employees who wrote an open letter complaining about CEO Elon Musk’s behavior.
  • The letter says Musk is “a frequent source of distraction and embarrassment.”
  • SpaceX’s founder Elon Musk claims to be interested in buying Twitter in an effort to help promote and preserve free speech.

A SpaceX employee who wrote an open letter criticizing founder and CEO Elon Musk has been fired by the company, according to reports.

According to a report from The Verge, SpaceX has fired multiple employees who penned a letter to the company’s executives saying that Musk’s recent behavior has been “a frequent source of distraction and embarrassment for us, particularly in recent weeks.”

The letter reportedly cites SpaceX’s “No Asshole” policy and says that SpaceX’s leadership should “publicly address and condemn Elon’s harmful Twitter behavior.” Furthermore, the letter states that “every Tweet that Elon sends is a de facto public statement by the company” and they believe that his “messaging does not reflect our work, mission or values.”

SpaceX fires employees for writing an open letter that was critical of founder and CEO Elon Musk

By Thursday afternoon, SpaceX had fired some of the letter’s organizers, according to the three employees and an email from Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX’s president and chief operating officer. In her email, which was obtained by The New York Times, she said the company had investigated and “terminated a number of employees involved” with the letter.

“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,” Ms. Shotwell wrote. “We have too much critical work to accomplish and no need for this kind of overreaching activism.” [via The New York Times]

The report of SpaceX letting these employees go is particularly eyebrow-raising considering that Musk cites “freedom of speech” concerns as one of his reasons for trying to buy Twitter.

At the time of this writing, Musk has not addressed the firing of the employees — who have yet to be identified — on Twitter. Additionally, James Gleeson, a SpaceX spokesman, did not return The Time’s request for comment, while The Verge wasn’t able to get an official statement from the company, either.

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