SpaceX Fires Employees Over Open Letter Criticizing Elon Musk

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter at @Samsonamore. Pronouns: he/him

SpaceX Fires Employees Over Open Letter Criticizing Elon Musk
Heisenberg Media | Flicker

SpaceX has reportedly fired several employees who were involved in writing and circulating an open letter that criticized CEO Elon Musk.


The firings were first reported Thursday by the New York Times, which noted that SpaceX employees began sharing the letter—which labeled Musk’s public behavior and social media activity as “a frequent source of distraction and embarrassment”—on Wednesday. Reuters subsequently reported that at least five SpaceX employees had been fired, though the exact number remains unclear. SpaceX did not return dot.LA’s request for comment.

The open letter was shared in an internal Microsoft Teams channel featuring more than 2,600 SpaceX employees, according to The Verge. The document called for the Hawthorne-based aerospace company to “publicly address and condemn Elon’s harmful Twitter behavior” and to “swiftly and explicitly separate itself from Elon’s personal brand.” Musk is a contentious presence on Twitter, which he is currently in the midst of acquiring via a $44 billion takeover bid.

“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 open letter read. “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 asked SpaceX to “hold all leadership equally accountable” for the company’s workplace culture and to “define and uniformly respond to all forms of unacceptable behavior”—adding that the company was failing to live up to its stated “no asshole” and “zero tolerance” policies.

In an email obtained by the Times, SpaceX President and Chief Operating Officer Gwynne Shotwell said the company had “terminated a number of employees involved” in the letter.

“The letter, solicitations and general process made employees feel uncomfortable, intimidated and bullied, and/or angry because the letter pressured them to sign onto something that did not reflect their views,” Shotwell wrote. “We have too much critical work to accomplish and no need for this kind of overreaching activism.”

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Regard Raises $15M for AI-Powered Software That Help Doctors Diagnose Patients

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is dot.LA's Editorial Fellow. Prior to that, she was an editorial intern at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

Regard Raises $15M for AI-Powered Software That Help Doctors Diagnose Patients
Courtesy of Regard

Culver City-based health care startup Regard, which uses AI-driven software to help physicians accurately diagnose patients, has raised $15.3 million in Series A funding.

Pasadena-based Calibrate Ventures and Colorado-based Foundry Group led the investment in Regard, formerly known as HealthTensor. Other investors that participated in the round include TenOneTen Ventures, Susa Ventures, Brook Byers of Byers Capital and Dropbox CEO Drew Houston. The new funding will be used to grow Regard’s team and customer base, the company said in a press release.

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This Week in 'Raises': Regard Secures $15M, MaC Venture Capital Raises $203M for Second Fund

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is dot.LA's Editorial Fellow. Prior to that, she was an editorial intern at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

This Week in 'Raises': Regard Secures $15M, MaC Venture Capital Raises $203M for Second Fund
Image by Joshua Letona

This week in “Raises”: A local healthcare startup secured funding to help grow the team and deploy its software to more physicians and hospitals, while Black-led, seed-stage venture capital firm surpassed its goal for its second fund.

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This LA-Based Accelerator Seeks To Foster the Next Generation of Ocean Tech Startups

Keerthi Vedantam

Keerthi Vedantam is a bioscience reporter at dot.LA. She cut her teeth covering everything from cloud computing to 5G in San Francisco and Seattle. Before she covered tech, Keerthi reported on tribal lands and congressional policy in Washington, D.C. Connect with her on Twitter, Clubhouse (@keerthivedantam) or Signal at 408-470-0776.

This LA-Based Accelerator Seeks To Foster the Next Generation of Ocean Tech Startups
Photo courtesy of the Port of Los Angeles.

San Pedro-based Braid Theory is one of the growing number of accelerators in the country looking to grow the so-called blue economy, which spans a range of ocean-related industries and is estimated at $2.5 trillion a year.

The accelerator is accepting online applications until July 18, with its second-ever program kicking off in August.

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