Musk hate: In the past twenty-four hours, the rising effort to damage SpaceX and Elon Musk by many in our generally petty and envious elitist culture reached new levels, as illustrated by two different stories.
First, it appears a small group of anonymous “woke” employees at SpaceX organized a campaign to publish a letter condemning Elon Musk.
An open letter to company executives was posted in an internal SpaceX Microsoft Teams channel with more than 2,600 employees, the Verge reported on Thursday (June 16). The letter asks the founder of SpaceX and Tesla to change his ways. “Elon’s behavior in the public sphere is a frequent source of distraction and embarrassment for us, particularly in recent weeks,” the letter states.
…”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 adds. “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.”
Unlike most corporations today — that routinely kow-tow to such attacks — SpaceX’s management pushed back hard, with the company’s CEO, Gwynne Shotwell, immediately issuing a strong company-wide email condemning the letter and announcing that an investigation has identified several people involved and has fired them. From her email:
You may have received an unsolicited request from a small group of SpaceX employees for your signature on an “open letter” yesterday and your participation in a related survey. Based on diverse employee feedback, this has upset many. That is, 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. Employees also complained that it interfered with their ability to focus on and do their work. … We have too much critical work to accomplish and no need for this kind of overreaching activism — our current leadership team is more dedicated to ensuring we have a great and ever-improving work environment than any I have seen in my 35-year career.
We solicit and expect our employees to report all concerns to their leadership, senior management, HR, or Legal. But blanketing thousands of people across the company with repeated unsolicited emails and asking them to sign letters and fill out unsponsored surveys during the work day is not acceptable, goes against our documented handbook policy, and does not show the strong judgement needed to work in this very challenging space transportation sector. We performed an investigation and have terminated a number of employees involved.
Without question Shotwell’s response was the proper one. It is absolutely none of the business of the employees of SpaceX what Elon Musk does on Twitter. Nor is it their place to publicly critique his behavior. Their job is to do the work they were hired to do, and if Musk’s behavior bothers them that much they should leave the company. It now appears Shotwell has helped these trouble-makers do so.
In the second story Musk has been sued in the New York courts by one man for $258 billion for engaging “in a crypto pyramid scheme by way of dogecoin cryptocurrency.”
Johnson, a US citizen, wants $86 billion in damages, plus tripled damages of $172 billion for losses incurred from trading dogecoin since 2019. He is seeking to represent a class of people who have lost money investing in dogecoin.
The lawsuit also demands that Musk, Tesla and SpaceX cease promoting dogecoin.
This suit, which appears in many ways to be frivolous (though not to be ignored), is wonderfully ironic. Johnson’s suit accuses Musk of manipulating the price of dogecoin by his public actions. Yet, Johnson’s own court suit did exactly that, causing the value of dogecoin to quickly rise almost 5%. One wonders how much Johnson himself has invested in dogecoin, and what his real motives for filing this lawsuit.