A group of anonymous SpaceX employees say founder and CEO Elon Musk’s recent behavior reflects badly on the company.
An open letter to company executives was posted on SpaceX’s internal Microsoft Teams channel, which has more than 2,600 employees, reports The Verge. (will open in a new tab) Thursday (June 16). In the letter, the founder of SpaceX and Tesla are asked to change their lifestyle.
“Elon’s behavior in the public sphere often distracts and embarrasses us, especially in recent weeks,” the letter says.
Much of this behavior unfolds on Twitter, which Musk is trying to buy. The billionaire is very active on the platform, sometimes using it for rude jokes. (will open in a new tab) gold offends people (will open in a new tab). For example, in 2018, he implied that a man involved in rescuing Thai boys from a flooded cave was a pedophile. (will open in a new tab).
“As our CEO and most prominent spokesperson, Elon is considered the face of SpaceX — every tweet Elon sends is a de facto public statement from the company,” the letter reads. “It’s very important to make it clear to our teams and our potential talent pool that his messages do not reflect our work, our mission, or our values.”
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It is not clear who wrote the letter, although the document itself claims that employees “across the spectrum of gender, ethnicity, seniority and technical positions” worked on its authorship, according to The Verge. The staff who posted the email did not respond to requests for comment from this site.
The paper proposes three different “elements of action” to correct what is happening. These items include SpaceX management condemning Elon’s “malicious behavior on Twitter”, condemning other senior company executives for similar behavior, and defining “exactly what SpaceX’s ‘no assholes’ and ‘zero tolerance’ policy means and consistently enforces.”
Musk, Time magazine’s 2021 Person of the Year, has also denied allegations of sexual harassment regarding his 2016 flight attendant activities. This story was published by Business Insider. (will open in a new tab).
And several former SpaceX employees recently said the company as a whole is not doing enough to punish or prevent sexual harassment in the workplace, reports The Verge in another story. (will open in a new tab).
After Musk’s sexual harassment story surfaced in Business Insider, SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell sent an email to the entire company. (will open in a new tab) employees protecting Musk, according to today’s The Verge story.
“Personally, I believe the accusations are false, not because I work for Elon, but because I have worked closely with him for 20 years and have never seen or heard anything like these claims,” Shotwell wrote. “Anyone who knows Elon as well as I do knows that he would never act like it was inappropriate behavior or make excuses for it.”
SpaceX is involved in numerous government, military and commercial projects. For example, NASA chose the huge SpaceX spacecraft to land astronauts on the moon a few years later. The agency also has contracts with SpaceX to deliver cargo and astronauts to the International Space Station. And the company supplies Starlink satellite internet services to customers around the world.
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