Private rocket company SpaceX fired at least five employees after it found they had drafted and circulated a letter criticizing founder Elon Musk and urging executives to make the firm's culture more inclusive..
The New York Times reported on Thursday that SpaceX had fired employees associated with the letter, citing three employees with knowledge of the situation.
SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell sent an email saying the company had investigated and "terminated a number of employees involved" with the letter, the New York Times said.
The newspaper said Shotwell's email said employees involved with circulating the letter had been fired for making other staff feel...
"uncomfortable, intimidated and bullied, and/or angry because the letter pressured them to sign onto something that did not reflect their views".
Billionaire Musk is pursuing a $44-billion bid for Twitter and has made clear his support of freer controls on speech on the site.
On Thursday, he told Twitter employees the platform should allow "pretty outrageous things" as long as the content is not illegal.
The SpaceX letter, headed "an open letter to the Executives of SpaceX," seen by Reuters, called Musk a "distraction and embarrassment" to the company he founded.