Recently, several employees of the SpaceX company wrote an open letter to complain about the behavior of Elon Musk. According to the signatories of the document, the eccentricities of their boss affect the workers. Result: some people responsible for writing this document have been asked to leave the company.
A frequent source of distraction and embarrassment
Elon Musk is known for his many projects, but also for his outings sometimes a bit hazardous. Elected personality of the year by TIME Magazine in 2021, he notably distinguished himself in 2018 during a radio interview for the show Joe Rogan Experience. During this interview, Elon Musk had smoked a cannabis joint and drank whiskey. After this legendary outing, NASA conducted an expensive study to ensure that Elon Musk’s employees did not consume cannabis.
As The Verge explains in a June 17, 2022 article, SpaceX recently fired some of its staff. The reason is none other than the writing of an open letter complaining about Elon Musk’s escapades. The document refers to the boss’s eccentricities as being a frequent source of distraction and embarrassmentand especially in recent weeks.
The writers of the letter recall that each tweet from Elon Musk is a company public statement. Indeed, he is the creator and especially the media face. However, the authors of the document believe that it is necessary to make it clear to the teams of workers and to the young talents who admire SpaceX that sometimes, the declarations of Elon Musk do not really reflect the work of the companyits missions or its values.
“Excessive activism” according to SpaceX
The response from SpaceX officials was very quick. Gwynne Shotwell, the company’s current president, told some of the employees behind the letter that they no longer work for SpaceX. In this e-mail, it is said that the letter and the manner in which it was delivered made the other employees uncomfortable, the latter feeling obligated to sign a document going against their opinion. There is also talk of “excessive activism” which society currently does not need, when it has many critical missions to accomplish.
According to an employee who helped write the letter, this reaction is a sign that SpaceX officials are doing the choosing to ignore very real problems. Writing this letter would have taken a good month to reflect the opinion of the majority of employees as well as possible.