Elon Musk’s SpaceX is laying off 10% of its workforce

Roman Schwartz
January 13, 2019

Elon Musk's Space Exploration Technologies Corp. plans to cut about 10 percent of its workforce, according to people familiar with the matter. SpaceX has since confirmed the news, saying in a statement that it must get "leaner" in order to achieve its goals - ones that, it said, "have bankrupted other organizations".

Word of the reductions came just hours after SpaceX executed its first Falcon 9 rocket launch of the year, putting 10 Iridium NEXT satellites into low Earth orbit, and a day after Musk hailed the assembly of a subscale test prototype for SpaceX's interplanetary Starship spacecraft.

However, there are more than 400 open positions in various fields at different SpaceX facilities, judging by the company's website.

A company source says SpaceX remains financially strong and can continue to "manufacture and launch at a reliable cadence in the years ahead". "This means we must part ways with some talented and hardworking members of our team", the company said.

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About 600 of the firm's 6,000-strong workforce are being laid off, with the company blaming "extraordinary hard challenges ahead" for its decision.

The company is also delivering supplies to the International Space Station (ISS).

The email by Shotwell states the company will be offering a minimum of eight weeks pay, resume help, and job searches to the laid-off workers. However, the launch and satellite initiatives the company is pursuing will each require several billion dollars to complete.

Back in November, Bloomberg reported that SpaceX had taken out a $250 million loan, which was only half of the $500 million it was allegedly seeking. The firings were related to disagreements over the pace at which the team was developing and testing its Starlink satellites.

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