A group of SpaceX employees derided flamboyant billionaire CEO Elon Musk as a “distraction and embarrassment” in an internal letter to executives.
Musk, also head of electric automaker Tesla, has been in headlines and late-night comedy monologues in recent months for a tumultuous quest to buy social media giant Twitter, a reported allegation of sexual harassment that Musk has denied as well as crude comments online and a foray into political discourse.
“Elon’s behavior in the public sphere is a frequent source of distraction and embarrassment for us, particularly in recent weeks,” read the letter, which does not single out any controversy in particular. Reuters was provided a copy of the letter.
“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,” the letter added.
SpaceX did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The open letter, earlier reported by The Verge, was drafted by SpaceX employees in recent weeks and shared as an attachment in an internal “Morale Boosters” group chat, which contains thousands of employees, according to a person familiar with the matter.
It was not clear who authored the letter or how many employees were involved in its drafting.
In a list of three demands, the letter says “SpaceX must swiftly and explicitly separate itself from Elon’s personal brand.” It added: “Hold all leadership equally accountable to making SpaceX a great place to work for everyone” and “define and uniformly respond to all forms of unacceptable behavior.”