SpaceX has made it clear that, under no uncertain terms, criticism of founder and CEO Elon Musk will be tolerated. Just days after a group of employees published an open letter criticizing the mask, some of those involved have resigned. Gwen Shotwell, president of SpaceX, sent an email (which did not address the content of the letter), saying the authors had “uncomfortable” others with the publication and had violated the company’s handbook by asking employees to sign statements.
The letter, published in an in-depth Microsoft Teams chat with more than 2,600 employees, called on the company to distance itself from Mask’s growing irregular online personality. In the weeks since the allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced, Musk has used his Twitter account to speak out against “awakening”, low birth rates and Democrats.
Shotwell’s letter, published by The Verge, notes that this is a busy time for SpaceX. It has multiple launches coming up next week, and it will have to support the recently launched Dragon Cargo Mission. SpaceX is also heading for the starship’s first orbital launch this summer. The open letter claimed that Elon Musk’s online behavior was a misunderstanding for the team, but Shotwell said, “No, this is the letter that was misleading.”
Elon Musk is embroiled in an increasingly bizarre public battle to complete his Twitter purchase, an effort he claims is about freedom of speech. Kovid and election misinformation, as well as the decision to ban former President Trump, have drawn criticism from Twitter conservatives. Despite calling himself a “free speech dictator”, Musk has regularly cracked down on dissent in his companies – the latest to be fired at SpaceX.
Freedom of speech is essential for a functioning democracy.
Do you believe that Twitter adheres strictly to this policy?
– Elon Musk (lonelonmusk) March 25, 2022
It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post. The group tried to sign more employees by name or anonymously. Shotwell’s letter called it an example of “excessive activism.” At least one employee, who remained anonymous for obvious reasons, said he was seen as “tone deaf” by Shotwell’s email staff. However, it is unlikely that anyone will speak out now.