Last week, SpaceX successfully launched its first rockets of 2019 into the sky. Following that, the Elon Musk-run company told employees they may be getting fired.
According to Bloomberg, the company informed its workforce that about 10% were being laid off. “Stunned workers were sent home early to await notification to their private email addresses about their fate,” writes the report. About 6,000 people currently work at SpaceX–mostly at its headquarters in Hawthorne, California. About 577 positions have reportedly been cut.
The company decided to take these measures because of an anticipated lower demand for their services in the coming year. Though it saw a record number of launches in 2018, 2019 is expected to be much slower.
The company provided me with the following statement:
To continue delivering for our customers and to succeed in developing interplanetary spacecraft and a global space-based Internet, SpaceX must become a leaner company. Either of these developments, even when attempted separately, have bankrupted other organizations. This means we must part ways with some talented and hardworking members of our team. We are grateful for everything they have accomplished and their commitment to SpaceX’s mission. This action is taken only due to the extraordinarily difficult challenges ahead and would not otherwise be necessary.
A number of positions were reportedly let go, including production managers, avionics technicians, and more.
You can read the full report here.