An open letter to the Executives of SpaceX,
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. Employees across the spectra of gender, ethnicity, seniority, and technical roles have collaborated on this letter. We feel it is imperative to maintain honest and open dialogue with each other to effectively reach our company’s primary goals together: making SpaceX a great place to work for all, and making humans a multiplanetary species.
[OCS: It appears that this letter was politically motivated by those who embrace radical far-left positions and are acting in sympathy with those opposing Musk’s attempt to eliminate censorship and return free speech to the Twitter platform.]
As SpaceX employees we are expected to challenge established processes, rapidly innovate to solve complex problems as a team, and use failures as learning opportunities. Commitment to these ideals is fundamental to our identity and is core to how we have redefined our industry. But for all our technical achievements, SpaceX fails to apply these principles to the promotion of diversity, equity, and inclusion with equal priority across the company, resulting in a workplace culture that remains firmly rooted in the status quo.
[OCS: As employees, you are entitled to your opinion and the right to speak out. However, as employees of a private company, your comments and writings are not constitutionally protected and comments which defame, denigrate, disparage, or bring undue attention to the company subject you to internal disciplinary actions, including the risk of termination.]
Individuals and groups of employees at SpaceX have spent significant effort beyond their technical scope to make the company a more inclusive space via conference recruiting, open forums, feedback to leadership, outreach, and more. However, we feel an unequal burden to carry this effort as the company has not applied appropriate urgency and resources to the problem in a manner consistent with our approach to critical path technical projects. To be clear: recent events are not isolated incidents; they are emblematic of a wider culture that underserves many of the people who enable SpaceX’s extraordinary accomplishments. As industry leaders, we bear unique responsibility to address this.
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.
[OCS: What your CEO does or says is none of your concern. There is no concrete evidence that Musk’s behavior or pronouncements have impacted company financing or operations other than annoying a woke cadre of overly-sensitive, politically-motivated snowflakes that need to have their security clearances re-examined for links to potentially hostile threats.]
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 Asshole” and “Zero Tolerance” policies. This must change. As a starting point, we are putting forth the following categories of action items, the specifics of which we would like to discuss in person with the executive team within a month:
[OCS: I know of no large company that lives up to its stated values on all levels and encompassing all employees. And, if you were to eliminate driven quirky leadership, there would be few billion-dollar unicorns that employ thounsands of employees.]
Publicly address and condemn Elon’s harmful Twitter behavior. SpaceX must swiftly and explicitly separate itself from Elon’s personal brand.
[OCS: If you are embarrassed or stressed by your CEO’s behavior, which is really none of your concern, or the ethics of your employer – quit! Keep your comments private or suffer the consequences.]
Hold all leadership equally accountable to making SpaceX a great place to work for everyone. Apply a critical eye to issues that prevent employees from fully performing their jobs and meeting their potential, pursuing specific and enduring actions that are well resourced, transparent, and treated with the same rigor and urgency as establishing flight rationale after a hardware anomaly.
[OCS: Companies are not governed by a mobocracy. Few company policies are likely to satisfy all employees all of the time.]
Define and uniformly respond to all forms of unacceptable behavior. Clearly define what exactly is intended by SpaceX’s “no-asshole” and “zero tolerance” policies and enforce them consistently. SpaceX must establish safe avenues for reporting and uphold clear repercussions for all unacceptable behavior, whether from the CEO or an employee starting their first day.
[OCS: And who designed a few outspoken employees to be the morality police.]
We care deeply about SpaceX’s mission to make humanity multiplanetary. But more importantly, we care about each other. The collaboration we need to make life multiplanetary is incompatible with a culture that treats employees as consumable resources. Our unique position requires us to consider how our actions today will shape the experiences of individuals beyond our planet. Is the culture we are fostering now the one which we aim to bring to Mars and beyond?
We have made strides in that direction, but there is so much more to accomplish.