SpaceX to lay off 10 percent of workforce

Daniel Fowler
January 13, 2019

SpaceX plans to lay off 10 percent of its 6,000-employee workforce, citing a need to be a "leaner company" to meet its ambitious goals.

About 600 of the firm's 6,000-strong workforce are being laid off, with the company blaming "extraordinary hard challenges ahead" for its decision.

"This means we must part ways with some talented and hardworking members of our team", the statement continued.

However, there are more than 400 open positions in various fields at different SpaceX facilities, judging by the company's website.

"We are grateful for everything they have accomplished and their commitment to SpaceX's mission".

Hawthorne-based SpaceX is offering a minimum of eight weeks' pay and other benefits to those affected, according to an email sent on Friday to employees by SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell.

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Last month, SpaceX launched its first national security space mission for the US military, using a Falcon 9 rocket to carry a $500 million Global Positioning System satellite made by Lockheed Martin.

If the test launches go well, SpaceX could be ready to launch NASA astronauts to the International Space Station by midyear.

SpaceX has recently been raising a new $500 million funding round that would value the company at an estimated $30 billion.

Another Elon Musk company, electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc, said in June it was cutting 9 percent of its workforce by removing several thousand jobs across the company in cost reduction measures. However, it has several expensive projects in the works - including a launch from California on Friday.

In October, Elon Musk reportedly fired at least seven people from senior management at the SpaceX facilities in Redmond, Washington, as he was not satisfied with the speed of developing and testing Starlink satellites.

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