Employees at SpaceX have written an open letter denouncing the behavior of Elon Musk, the company’s chief executive, following recently publicized allegations of sexual misconduct against him.
“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 was obtained by The New York Times. “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 comes amid the billionaire’s contentious $44 billion acquisition of Twitter. On Thursday, Mr. Musk addressed Twitter employees for the first time via a video call to explain his vision for the company after he completes the deal, which he has expressed some reservations about doing.
A SpaceX spokesman did not respond to a request for comment about the letter. The Verge first reported on the document.
In May, Insider reported that a flight attendant said Mr. Musk propositioned her for a sexual massage during a flight to London in 2016. The flight attendant said he also exposed himself to her and offered her a horse, according to the article, the details of which were not independently verified by The New York Times.
Following that report, Mr. Musk called the story “utterly untrue” and made jokes about horses and his genitalia on Twitter. Last month, Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX’s president and chief operating officer, wrote an email to employees saying she “personally” believed that the sexual harassment allegations against Mr. Musk were false.
“Anyone who knows Elon like I do, knows he would never conduct or condone this alleged inappropriate behavior,” she wrote in the email.
It is unclear how many people have signed the open letter at SpaceX. The letter outlines several demands, including the public condemnation of “Elon’s harmful Twitter behavior” and establishing clear definitions of all forms of unacceptable behavior at the rocket maker.
“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 read.
“SpaceX must swiftly and explicitly separate itself from Elon’s personal brand,” it continued.