According to media reports, SpaceX, the rocket firm run by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, has fired numerous employees involved in an open letter criticizing the colorful billionaire for his behavior.
According to the reports published on Friday, an email from SpaceX's president, Gwynne Shotwell, stated that the corporation has terminated staffers who put together and distributed the letter. Musk's actions, according to the letter writers, have been a "regular source of distraction and humiliation for us, particularly in recent weeks."
The New York Times was the first to expose the purge, citing three individuals familiar with the matter. The employees were not identified.
It's unclear how many SpaceX employees were let go, but Shotwell made it clear that the business thought they had passed an unacceptable boundary.
"The letter, solicitations, and general procedure made employees feel uncomfortable, intimidated, and harassed, as well as/or upset because the letter encouraged them to sign onto something that did not reflect their values," Shotwell wrote in an email to the Times. ""We have too much critical work to do, and we don't need this kind of far-reaching activism."
The layoffs took place on Thursday, the same day Musk briefed Twitter staff for the first time about his $44 billion bid to incorporate the social media platform into his business empire. The transaction is on hold as Musk investigates if Twitter has been concealing the number of false accounts on its network.
As the Twitter controversy evolved, it was revealed that Musk had paid a flight attendant $250,000 to settle a prospective sexual harassment complaint against him. Musk rejected the sexual harassment charges, and Shotwell told SpaceX staff last month that she believed the accusations were unfounded.
Musk has also bluntly criticized Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates' appearance on Twitter and used a feces emoji during an online discussion with Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal in recent weeks.
The open letter from SpaceX employees criticizing Musk said that several of his tweets to his 98 million followers portrayed the company negatively.