SpaceX Employees Fired Over Letter Calling CEO Elon Musk An 'Embarrassment'

Several employees were fired after they circulated an open letter voicing their concerns.

learn more about Madeline Garfinkle

By Madeline Garfinkle

In an open letter to executives at SpaceX, several employees called out CEO Elon Musk's behavior, writing that he is a "distraction and embarrassment" to the company.

Those employees — at least five individuals — have now lost their jobs.

The letter voiced complaints about how Musk's public image has affected people associated with the company.

"The letter is a collective 'Hey! We're getting some heat for things that are unrelated to us,'" one SpaceX employee said of Musk, according to Reuters.

The letter featured three demands: a separation from "Elon's personal brand," more inclusivity, and for the company to "define and uniformly respond to all forms of unacceptable behavior."

SpaceX employees were asked to sign the letter (publicly or anonymously) before sending it to company president Gwynne Shotwell.

Related: Inside SpaceX: What It's Like Working for a Company on a Mission to Mars

However, the efforts seemed to have backfired. At least five employees associated with the letter have been terminated so far. After investigating the drafting and circulation of the letter, Shotwell sent a company-wide email announcing the termination of the individuals involved.

Shotwell said the employees were fired because their actions made others feel "uncomfortable, intimidated and bullied, and/or angry because the letter pressured them to sign onto something that did not reflect their views," according to The New York Times.

SpaceX nor Musk has directly addressed the letter or the termination of those involved.

Related: Elon Musk Sued For Billions Over Running Alleged Dogecoin Pyramid Scheme For 'Profit, Exposure and Amusement'

Madeline Garfinkle

Entrepreneur Staff

Editorial Assistant

Madeline Garfinkle is an Editorial Assistant at She is a graduate from Syracuse University, and received an MFA from Columbia University. 

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