SpaceX employees draft open letter to company executives denouncing Elon Musk’s behavior - The Verge
On June 15th, SpaceX employees shared an open letter to company executives in an internal Microsoft Teams channel, denouncing CEO Elon Musk’s behavior and suggesting ways to fix SpaceX’s reputation.
An open letter to SpaceX decrying CEO Elon Musk’s recent behavior has sparked open discussion among the company’s employees in an internal chat system. Employees are being encouraged to sign onto the letter’s suggestions, either publicly or anonymously, with a signed version of the letter to be delivered to the desk of SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell.
The letter, reviewed by The Verge, describes how Musk’s actions and the recent allegations of sexual harassment against him are negatively affecting SpaceX’s reputation. The document claims that employees “across the spectra of gender, ethnicity, seniority, and technical roles have collaborated on” writing the letter. It’s not known which SpaceX employees wrote the letter; the employees who posted the letter in the internal chat system have not responded to requests for comment.
“Elon’s behavior in the public sphere is a frequent source of distraction and embarrassment for us, particularly in recent weeks,” the letter states. “As our CEO and most prominent spokesperson, Elon is seen as the face of SpaceX — every Tweet that Elon sends is a de facto public statement by the company. It is critical to make clear to our teams and to our potential talent pool that his messaging does not reflect our work, our mission, or our values.”
Musk has been doing a lot recently, and his presence on Twitter can be particularly crass. In April, he shared an image of Bill Gates and an emoji of a pregnant man, captioned with “in case u need to lose a boner fast.” Last year, he also responded to a tweet about Jeff Bezos’ aerospace company Blue Origin, saying “Can’t get it up (to orbit) lol.” Musk is also currently attempting to buy Twitter.
Shared on Wednesday in an internal SpaceX Microsoft Teams channel with more than 2,600 employees, the letter argues that the company is not living up to its oft-stated “No Asshole” policy and its zero-tolerance sexual harassment policy. The document goes on to suggest three different “action items” to address the situation: SpaceX should “publicly address and condemn Elon’s harmful Twitter behavior”; the company should “hold all leadership equally accountable” for bad behavior; and SpaceX needs to “clearly define what exactly is intended by SpaceX’s ‘no-asshole’ and ‘zero tolerance’ policies and enforce them consistently.”