SpaceX employees call Elon Musk a ‘distraction’ in open letter to executives

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Employees at SpaceX sent an open letter to the company’s executives which was published Thursday, taking issue with CEO Elon Musk’s recent behavior which it refers to as a ‘distraction.’ Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

June 16 (UPI) — Employees at SpaceX sent an open letter to the company’s executives, published Thursday, which takes issue with CEO Elon Musk’s recent behavior, calling it a “distraction.”

The letter was published in its entirety by The Verge and the New York Times, and criticizes Musk as well as the culture at the space exploration company.

“In light of recent allegations against our CEO and his public disparagement of the situation, we would like to deliver feedback on how these events affect our company’s reputation, and through it, our mission,” reads the letter, addressed to “Executives of SpaceX.”

“Elon’s behavior in the public sphere is a frequent source of distraction and embarrassment for us, particularly in recent weeks. 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 also references Musk’s sexual harassment accusations that became public in May.

Musk has denied claims he groped and exposed himself to a SpaceX employee six years ago. It was reported the company settled the accusation after paying the ex-flight attendant $250,000.

“SpaceX’s current systems and culture do not live up to its stated values, as many employees continue to experience unequal enforcement of our oft-repeated ‘No A—–‘ and ‘Zero Tolerance’ policies. This must change,” the letter reads.

“SpaceX must swiftly and explicitly separate itself from Elon’s personal brand.”

It goes on to add other “action items,” urging the company to act on them.

Those items include holding “all leadership equally accountable to making SpaceX a great place to work for everyone,” and making sure to “define and uniformly respond to all forms of unacceptable behavior.”

Thursday’s letter was published shortly before Musk took questions from Twitter employees as he continues his quest to buy the social media platform and take it private.

Musk was asked about his previous comments saying he would bring free speech back to Twitter.

“There’s freedom of speech or freedom of reach,” Musk told Twitter employees.

“And freedom of speech is one thing, because, like, anyone could just go into the middle of Times Square right now and say anything they want, they could just walk into the middle of Times Square and deny the Holocaust, okay? You can’t stop them, they will just do that. But that doesn’t mean you have to — that it needs to be promoted to millions of people.”

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