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SpaceX CEO Elon Musk Fired Managers and Employees in June to Shake Up Starlink Project

Accepted submission by takyon at 2018-11-01 19:52:23
Techonomics

Elon Musk went on firing spree over slow satellite broadband progress [arstechnica.com]

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk recently "fired at least seven" managers in order to speed up development and testing of satellites that could provide broadband around the world, Reuters reported today [reuters.com].

SpaceX denied parts of the story, saying that some of those managers left of their own accord and that the firings happened over a longer period of time than Reuters claimed.

[...] Among the fired employees were SpaceX VP of Satellites Rajeev Badyal and top designer Mark Krebs, Reuters wrote. "Rajeev wanted three more iterations of test satellites," Reuters quoted one of its sources as saying. "Elon thinks we can do the job with cheaper and simpler satellites, sooner."

Reuters described a culture clash between Musk and employees hired from Microsoft, "where workers were more accustomed to longer development schedules than Musk's famously short deadlines." Badyal is a former Microsoft employee, while Krebs previously worked for Google."

Apparently, the test satellites work:

"We're using the Tintins to explore that modification," one of the SpaceX employee sources said. "They're happy and healthy and we're talking with them every time they pass a ground station, dozens of times a day."

SpaceX engineers have used the two test satellites to play online video games at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California and the Redmond office, the source said. "We were streaming 4k YouTube and playing 'Counter-Strike: Global Offensive' from Hawthorne to Redmond in the first week," the person added.

Also at SpaceNews [spacenews.com] and TechCrunch [techcrunch.com].

Related: SpaceX Deploys Broadband Test Satellites, Fails to Catch Entire Fairing [soylentnews.org]
FCC Authorizes SpaceX to Provide Broadband Satellite Services [soylentnews.org]
SpaceX Valued at $25 Billion... and More [soylentnews.org]
SpaceX Starlink Satellite Prototypes Include Packed, Flexible Solar Arrays [soylentnews.org]


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