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Elon Musk’s Bad Week Gets Worse as SpaceX Lays off 600 People

Originally published on: CCN
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January 13, 2019


spacex elon musk layoff

SpaceX, the rocket company founded by Tesla billionaire Elon Musk, is laying off 10 percent of its 6,000-employee workforce. The layoffs are part of a move to streamline the business and cut costs.

“SpaceX must become a leaner company,” President Gwynne Shotwell wrote in a Friday email. The news was first reported by the Los Angeles Times.

‘Extraordinarily Difficult Challenges Ahead’

Shotwell explained:

This means we must part ways with some talented and hardworking members of our team. This action is taken only due to the extraordinarily difficult challenges ahead and would not otherwise be necessary.

The company is providing a minimum of eight weeks’ pay and other benefits to the fired workers.

SpaceX launch
SpaceX is streamlining to prepare for “difficult challenges ahead.” (Twitter)

Investors Dazzled by SpaceX

Elon Musk — the billionaire founder of electric-car company Tesla — launched SpaceX in 2002 to make space travel accessible to everyday people. In addition, SpaceX’s goal is to colonize Mars.

Equidate’s Robert Hilmer says SpaceX is one of the most valuable private companies in the world, with the potential to raise an “unlimited amount” of capital.

“SpaceX is one of [the most] popular pre-IPO tech companies globally,” Hilmer told CNBC.

Everywhere I travel around the world, investors of all types — individuals, family offices, hedge funds, sovereign wealth funds or private equity — want to get into SpaceX.

Meanwhile, Musk is taking the downsizing in stride.

He has not commented on the layoffs, preferring instead to focus on upcoming space launches.

The South African business mogul is more concerned that SpaceX’s newest test flight rocket has a cool, aerodynamic design.

“Obv must be more pointy tho,” Musk tweeted, in reference to the tip of the rocket.

Musk is an unwitting media darling who generates countless headlines. In August 2018, Musk stirred a volcanic backlash from Tesla investors after tweeting that he might take his car company private.

Weeks later, the SEC sued Musk for securities fraud, claiming his errant tweet caused Tesla stock to spike 6 percent that day. Shareholders were enraged when Tesla shares abruptly tanked in the following days.

The debacle forced Musk to step down as chairman in September 2018 and pay a $20 million fine to the SEC.

Elon Musk: I am Not Satoshi Nakamoto

Despite being a technophile, Elon Musk does not own crypto, as CCN reported.

“I literally own zero cryptocurrency, apart from .25 BTC that a friend sent me many years ago,” Musk confessed on Twitter.

In November 2017, Musk denied speculation that he was Satoshi Nakamoto, the inventor of Bitcoin. A former SpaceX intern inadvertently started the rumor with a blog post.

Sahil Gupta wrote at Medium: “Satoshi is probably Elon.”

Elon is a self-taught polymath. He’s repeatedly innovated across fields by reading books on a subject and applying the knowledge.

It’s how he built rockets, invented the Hyperloop (which he released to the world as a paper), and could have invented Bitcoin.

Musk responded by denying that he invented Bitcoin. Meanwhile, the real identity of Satoshi Nakamoto has never been confirmed.

Featured Image from Shutterstock



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