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SpaceX fired employees who called out Elon Musk ‘embarrassing’ behaviour, report says

·2-min read
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

SpaceX has fired employees who wrote an open letter criticising the behaviour of Elon Musk.

The letter reportedly stated that the recent allegations of sexual harassment against Mr Musk, as well as his numerous tweets attacking high-profile individuals such as Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, have put the company into disrepute.

“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.”

The letter was delivered to the desk of SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell, and by Thursday afternoon SpaceX had fired some of the letter’s organizers, the New York Times reports.

In an email seen by the NYT, Ms Shotwell said the company had “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.”It is unclear how many employees were fired.The letter asked that SpaceX’s leaders “publicly address and condemn Elon’s harmful Twitter behavior” and “define and uniformly respond to all forms of unacceptable behavior.”

In her email, Ms. Shotwell said: “Blanketing thousands of people across the company with repeated unsolicited emails and asking them to sign letters and fill out unsponsored surveys during the work day is not acceptable.”

She continued: “Please stay focused on the SpaceX mission, and use your time to do your best work ... This is how we will get to Mars.”

SpaceX did not respond to The Independent’s request for comment before time of publication.

According to the report in Insider, the attendant accused Mr Musk of exposing himself to her, rubbing her leg without consent, and offering to buy her a horse if she gave him an erotic massage.

The flight attendant was reportedly working as a contracted member of the cabin crew on Space X’s private jets at the time.

The Tesla chief executive rejected “wild accusations”, published by Insider, as “utterly untrue”, adding: “It never happened.” He also joked the reports should be dubbed “Elongate”.

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