SpaceX fired employees for their part in writing and circulating a letter that criticised CEO Elon Musk, the New York Times reported on Thursday.
The rocket manufacturing company reportedly dismissed multiple workers who were involved in the letter, which blasted Musk’s public conduct and urged SpaceX to publicly condemn his Twitter behaviour.
“Elon’s behaviour in the public sphere is a frequent source of distraction and embarrassment for us,” the letter, first reported by The Verge, said.
The letter claimed that the billionaire was regarded as the “face” of SpaceX and that each of his tweets was a “de facto public statement” by the company. It called on SpaceX to “swiftly and explicitly separate itself from Elon’s personal brand.”
“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 said.
The open letter was distributed among the company’s employees on Wednesday and addressed to SpaceX executives.
By Thursday, SpaceX had reportedly fired some of the workers involved. Reuters said that at least five employees had been dismissed.
The letter comes after a report from Business Insider last month alleged that SpaceX paid a flight attendant $250,000 in order to settle a sexual misconduct claim against Musk in 2018. SpaceX and Musk, along with Tesla, are also being sued by a Dogecoin investor for engaging in a “crypto pyramid scheme.”
Musk, the world’s richest man, is a prominent Twitter user and is currently trying to buy the social media platform for $44bn (£35.8bn).