SpaceX laid off 10% of its employees


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/01/11/spacex-laid-off-10-of-its-emp.html


#2

HR employee, “This packet contains all the information from Space X you need to land on your feet.”

Getting laid off is rarely pleasant. Just as in rocketry, doing all of the prescribed procedures doesn’t guarantee that one will spike the landing.


#3

Mixed messages.


#4

“This means we must part ways with some talented and hardworking members of our team…”

Any idea who they laid off? It makes a big difference if it’s engineering, or if it’s customer service.


#5

Perhaps the asshole tired of yelling pedophile at folks and now needs to save money for his upcoming libel and defamation lawsuit. Fuck you elon, you had great potential but then you fell in love with yourself. Its a love relationship that’s always doomed.


#6

Maybe if they focused on perfecting reusable rocketry instead of plowing R&D cash into getting ready for Mars, they’d be able to support their staff and grow like a reasonable company that needs to scale a core competency. The Mars stuff honestly belongs in a separate subsidiary. Done right, Elon could find a way to double-dip on equity again and keep engineering challenges properly compartmentalized.


#7

I’ll watch a 24-hour loop of the dude masturbating for 90 seconds if it means he continues to drop the cost of a kilo to low earth orbit.


#8

Sounds interesting but I think Ill just grow my own and skip elon’s shot. It’s a damn shame he could have a bit of common decency and sense, he does seem to have promise.


#9

This means any of those ‘talented people’ might want to take a second look before accepting a job at SpaceX. Because you’re just widget to them…take your skills elsewhere. In fact…start looking now, because you might be next.


#10

8 weeks severance is actually pretty decent.


#11

While layoffs are never pleasant, I think a certain turnover in skills is unavoidable in a company like Space-X which is evolving rapidly and tackling completely different challenges today than they were only a couple of years ago. I can imagine that R&D for a reusable rocket requires a substantially different mix of skills and talents than the R&D for a satellite internet or for a crew cabin…
I haven’t checked, but I wouldn’t be surprised to also find several hundred job listings as well…

Keeping the workforce aligned with the needed skillset is basically what any good company should do, no?


#13

No different than any other company. For profit or not. 8 weeks minimum severance is a very positive reflection on the company, especially when cutting 600 people and being under no obligation to provide any severance. If you’re going to work for anyone you should expect to be laid off at some point in your career. I experienced it once in my 20s and once in my 30s. Then I went to work for myself and no more lay-off worries. Just different worries. :slight_smile:


#14

I don’t know, I’m preparing to sue myself for minimum wage violations, abusive working conditions, failure to properly fund my pension, and I’m sure I can find some more ways. If I were to lay myself off, no way I’d provide 8 weeks severance. And don’t get me started about vacations…


#15

Overlooked in all this: how much is the government shut down driving this? NASA has been idled, and those lucrative NASA contracts are not going to get paid until they’re back to work. Sequestration hits hard and fast for organizations outside of the federal government who rely on a steady flow of contract money. Nothing in the article says this is part of what’s happening, but I wouldn’t be surprised.


#16

I don’t even know if it’s him or if that’s just the typical trajectory people tend to take when they let themselves be made more “hero” than “human.”


#18

I’m not sure all the genius hero-worship Musk gets is warranted. At this point he seems more “Thomas Edison, libel years edition” than “Tony Stark.”


#19

Let’s not forget that if it hadn’t been for some former members of the Nazi party (the real Nazis, the ones who ran the real extermination camps) we would never have reached the moon. Would that, in retrospect, have been sufficiently morally satisfying?


#20

That’s an oversimplification. Just because the Nazis were the furthest ahead on rocket science in the 1940s doesn’t mean the rest of the world wouldn’t have caught up eventually.


#21

I don’t know anyone in aerospace engineering who presumes their job is a permanent sinecure – even the Booster Belt Cost-Plus Gravy Train contractors cut jobs when the government cancels programs.

A resume credit from SpaceX goes a long way in the LA aerospace job market. And getting cut in a mass layoff avoids any questions about why you were laid off (or quit).

SpaceX’s business is undergoing several massive shifts – the transition to reusable boosters, the beginning of crewed operations, Starship/Heavy and its recent radical redesign, the Starlink satellite constellation, and so on.

Personnel needs are changing. So layoffs happen.

No one I know who wants to work at SpaceX will be the least bit discouraged by this. They’re chasing a dream, not job security.


#22

I’m not taking any position on whether this was a good or bad business decision, or the result of things that were within SpaceX’s control or not.

Yesterday, I couldn’t go anywhere on the internet without a headline telling me that Elon Musk—using that name specifically—had launched a bunch of rockets.

Today, it’s SpaceX that is sending people to the unemployment line. Musk is curiously absolved from any responsibility in the headlines.

Which of these things—firing people, or taking part in launches—is in Musk’s actual job description as CEO? Are we really so far down the Edison path that we’re imagining him tightening bolts and making last-minute adjustments to the navigational code? Dude’s got a 25-year-old bachelor’s degree.

Musk is a human ad campaign, a venture capital rainmaker, and an administrator where his rocket company is concerned. He probably plays a mean game of Kerbal Space Program. But he ain’t launching no rockets, and nobody will start missing paychecks except that he said so.