Twenty-one present and former staff at Jeff Bezos’ rocket company, Blue Origin, printed an open letter on Thursday, saying they suffered from “dehumanizing” remedy that left some staffers with suicidal ideas—all whereas the agency allegedly sacrificed security measures in favor of velocity.
“When Jeff Bezos flew to space this July, we didn’t share his elation. As an alternative, many people watched with an amazing sense of unease. A few of us couldn’t bear to look at in any respect,” the employees mentioned.
Alexandra Abrams, Blue Origin’s former head of worker communications, was the one named signatory on the letter, which outlines a variety of grievances. She was fired from Blue Origin in 2019 and now works at Oracle. Others opted to stay nameless, telling Fortune that they’d signed non-disclosure or non-disparagement agreements and feared retaliation. Within the letter, they mentioned that they had been “afraid of the potential penalties for talking out towards the wealthiest man on the planet.”
Sure, Bezos is rich, however is he actually that scary? Certain, he’s suing NASA. And he may in all probability cross for a James Bond villain, if he didn’t put on hats giant sufficient for the Duck Dynasty solid to make use of for a staff sponge tub. However is Bezos actually so diabolical?
You possibly can choose for your self. Your entire letter, which was written by Abrams and 20 others, may be considered here.
Listed here are among the extra jarring excerpts.
All of us joined Blue Origin wanting to innovate and to open entry to area for the good thing about humanity. We consider exploring the chances for human civilization past Earth is a necessity. But when this firm’s tradition and work atmosphere are a template for the long run Jeff Bezos envisions, we’re headed in a course that displays the worst of the world we reside in now, and sorely wants to alter.
Yeesh. That doesn’t sound good.
Workforce gender gaps are widespread within the area trade, however at Blue Origin in addition they manifest in a selected model of sexism. Quite a few senior leaders have been identified to be constantly inappropriate with girls. One senior government in CEO Bob Smith’s loyal inside circle was reported a number of instances to Human Sources for sexual harassment. Even so, Smith personally made him a member of the hiring committee for filling a senior HR function in 2019.
A male-dominated company tradition that creates a poisonous working atmosphere for ladies, whose complaints go largely unheeded? Guess Bezos is reinventing the 1950s workplace local weather in addition to the 1950s area capsule.
And don’t overlook the hypocrisy. We obtained your hypocrisy proper right here! Pink scorching!
What are the blind spots of a company whose acknowledged mission is to allow humanity’s higher future, but is rife with sexism? Blue Origin’s flaws lengthen additional, sadly. The corporate proclaims it’ll construct a greater world as a result of we’re effectively on our solution to ruining this one, but none of us has seen Blue Origin set up any concrete plans to develop into carbon impartial or considerably cut back its giant environmental footprint.
That’s fairly unhealthy. And simply in case you thought the working atmosphere was solely toxic for ladies, suppose once more. Simply as Amazon is a shitshow for everybody with a urethra, Blue Origin is outwardly a tragic place for anybody with feelings or a quickly fraying sense of fundamental dignity. The letter states that “Memos from senior management reveal a need to push staff to their limits, stating that the corporate must ‘get extra out of our staff’ and that the workers ought to think about it a ‘privilege to be part of historical past.’ One directive held out SpaceX as a mannequin, in that ‘burnout was a part of their labor technique.’ Former and present staff have had experiences they might solely describe as dehumanizing.”
The signatories additionally claimed that Bezos’ rush to beat fellow wealthy dudes Elon Musk and Richard Branson into area compromised their missions’ security: “At Blue Origin, a typical query throughout high-level conferences was, ‘When will Elon or Branson fly?’ Competing with different billionaires—and ‘making progress for Jeff’—appeared to take priority over security considerations that might have slowed down the schedule.”
It’s attention-grabbing—and maybe not totally coincidental—that this story broke proper as congressional Democrats are wrangling over the dimensions and scope of their Construct Again Higher infrastructure plan, and the means to pay for it. We used to do these sorts of initiatives for the sake of pure scientific inquiry, technological development, and nationwide pleasure, to not launch big dildos into area—and even the penis-shaped rockets that carry them.
Looks like only a portion of Bezos’ hulking dragon hoard may very well be productively utilized towards making 1000’s of children’ goals come true, as a substitute of only one obscenely well-heeled dork’s masturbatory fantasies.
As Abrams and her colleagues conclude of their letter, “At a minimal, Jeff Bezos and the remainder of the management at Blue Origin should be held to account, and should discover ways to run a respectful, accountable firm earlier than they are often permitted to arbitrarily use their wealth and ensuing energy to create a blueprint for humanity’s future. However past that, all of us ought to collectively, urgently, be elevating this query: Ought to we as a society enable ego-driven people with limitless caches of cash and little or no accountability to be those to form that future?”
No, no, we shouldn’t. Really, the selection couldn’t be extra clear now, may it?
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