Author Topic: Former BE-4 manager claims he was fired for whistleblowing  (Read 4603 times)

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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https://twitter.com/breadfrom/status/1730324307094429943

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New: The former program manager for Blue Origin's BE-4 Block 1 Engine is suing the company alleging that he was fired for blowing the whistle on safety issues.

Story coming shortly.
« Last Edit: 11/30/2023 08:06 pm by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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https://twitter.com/breadfrom/status/1730346781005737998

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New: The former program manager of Blue Originís BE-4  engines has filed a lawsuit against the company alleging whistleblower retaliation for speaking up about safety issues, many of which were related to former CEO Bob Smith's leadership.

https://techcrunch.com/2023/11/30/former-blue-origin-rocket-engine-manager-alleges-wrongful-termination-for-whistleblowing-on-safety/

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BO's contract with ULA requires them to share issues that could impact BE-4 delivery 1 year in advance; Stoker wanted to tell ULA the engines would likely be delayed due to production issues.

But Smith allegedly told Stoker not to share these issues with ULA.

https://twitter.com/breadfrom/status/1730346783350399483

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Read the full complaint here:

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/24179312-stocker-v-blue-origin-complaint

Offline woods170

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And now we know why Bob Smith is leaving BO.

Offline Steve G

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From what I read of the complaint, I guarantee this will be settled out of court!

Offline JCRM

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Oh dear, this is going to play with "the usual suspects"'s heads. They're going to want to crow about Bob Smith, but the problem here is he was pushing them to go to faster, not slowing them down...

Offline meekGee

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Oh dear, this is going to play with "the usual suspects"'s heads. They're going to want to crow about Bob Smith, but the problem here is he was pushing them to go to faster, not slowing them down...
Yup this is not a BO problem, it's because of the usual suspects, THEY caused all of this.

Bob Smith was expediting things by not telling the customer that the engine was late.

Hopefully BO will realize the mistake in time, fire the usual suspects, and bring back Bob Smith.

ABCD - Always Be Counting Down

Offline Nomadd

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Oh dear, this is going to play with "the usual suspects"'s heads. They're going to want to crow about Bob Smith, but the problem here is he was pushing them to go to faster, not slowing them down...
Pushing them to go faster and slowing them down usually wind up being the same thing in the end when you don't know what you're doing.
« Last Edit: 12/05/2023 02:36 am by Nomadd »
Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who couldn't hear the music.

Offline YetAnotherLurker

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Oh dear, this is going to play with "the usual suspects"'s heads. They're going to want to crow about Bob Smith, but the problem here is he was pushing them to go to faster, not slowing them down...
Yup this is not a BO problem, it's because of the usual suspects, THEY caused all of this.

Bob Smith was expediting things by not telling the customer that the engine was late.

Hopefully BO will realize the mistake in time, fire the usual suspects, and bring back Bob Smith.

I hope these posts are sarcastic, as I would think "not telling the customer" is very unequal to expediting things. The delay is going to be there regardless if you tell the customer or not, and eventually they are going to find out. And if you were contractucally oblicated to report the delay, this is a bad move all around. Calling to bring back that kind of behavior seems quite counter-productive for both the customer and the supplier.

If one was the customer in this case, would one rather have the supplier take their time, fix the problems, and deliver a working engine? Or would one rather the issues be swept under the rug just to "expedite" while being told unrealistic delivery dates that will come and go...
« Last Edit: 12/05/2023 06:38 am by YetAnotherLurker »

Offline meekGee

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Oh dear, this is going to play with "the usual suspects"'s heads. They're going to want to crow about Bob Smith, but the problem here is he was pushing them to go to faster, not slowing them down...
Yup this is not a BO problem, it's because of the usual suspects, THEY caused all of this.

Bob Smith was expediting things by not telling the customer that the engine was late.

Hopefully BO will realize the mistake in time, fire the usual suspects, and bring back Bob Smith.

I hope these posts are sarcastic,

God I hope so too.
ABCD - Always Be Counting Down

Online DrTadd

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It will be interesting to see how all this unfolds. I have seen plenty of cases that an issue was in hand, but longer lead to get the fix in place. SO you can say there is a serious problem, but its actually already solved just not in place. And I have seen people passionate that that solution was not good enough and 'unsafe'. Mainly cause their fix idea didn't get the nod or they were 'just sure' that the fix had an issue. Eventually the product goes out the door.

This really sounds like this 'whistle blower' felt there was an issue and the senior management said there wasn't. Bottom line, buck stops at the CEOs desk... and he might have gotten nailed for it. But until it all comes out in the court papers wash the rest of us are not going to know if it truly was an issue.

BO has put up with a lot of public 'outcry' over the BE4 and I am sure has kept ULA in the loop. Too big a project, and too much money on the line. Once the wagons are hitched, you get to a working solution come hell or high water. May not be on time or on budget, but you get there best you can.

What is sad it that it will most likely get paid off to go away. This happens at my wife's hospital a lot. Just so much cheaper for the hospital to spit out a smaller payout, say $30k for some perceived complaint (its a hospital not a hotel) than to actually get it correct in the courts.

Just feels a day late and a dollar short given that Vulcan goes in two weeks. Given all the work presented up to now, my personal guess is vulcan will fly straight on christmas eve.

 

Online Purona

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Re: Former BE-4 manager claims he was fired for whistleblowing
« Reply #10 on: 12/05/2023 02:17 pm »
reminds me of the last time blue origin had a complaint against them. I'll see how it turns out.

Offline JCRM

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Re: Former BE-4 manager claims he was fired for whistleblowing
« Reply #11 on: 12/05/2023 05:40 pm »

Bob Smith was expediting things by not telling the customer that the engine was late.

Tell me you've not read the article without saying"I've not read the article"

Offline GWH

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Re: Former BE-4 manager claims he was fired for whistleblowing
« Reply #12 on: 12/05/2023 08:11 pm »
Bob Smith...

The reddit page for Blue Origin is 50% posts by and for Blue Origin employees these days. Check it out, you won't a single thing claiming he was doing well for the company.

I've read many accusations of him being out of touch; a CEO that you wouldn't ever see out on the manufacturing floor unless he's there for a photo op. I've also read comments that he had a "do it right the first time" mentality and wouldn't accept development risk - which I read as someone that is more afraid of disrupting appearances than getting things done.

Do I find it hard to believe that such an individual would suddenly push in unreasonable ways after MANY years of delay? No, not at all.  In fact I'd expect it out of someone who is seen as out of touch and suddenly needs to justify his performance.

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