SpaceX employees who openly criticized Elon Musk’s behavior in a letter have been fired, according to a report from The New York Times. The employees wrote that Musk was a “frequent source of distraction and embarrassment.”

“By Thursday afternoon, SpaceX had fired some of the letter’s organizers, according to the three employees and an email from Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX’s president and chief operating officer,” NYT reports. “In her email, which was obtained by The New York Times, she said the company had investigated and ‘terminated a number of employees involved’ with 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,” Ms. Shotwell wrote. “We have too much critical work to accomplish and no need for this kind of overreaching activism.”

In her email to staff, Ms. Shotwell added, “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.”

“Please stay focused on the SpaceX mission, and use your time to do your best work,” she continued. “This is how we will get to Mars.”

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