Author Topic: SpaceX reducing workforce by at least 10 percent  (Read 29334 times)

Offline calapine

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Re: SpaceX reducing workforce by at least 10 percent
« Reply #20 on: 01/12/2019 12:58 am »
Quote
"We had an all-hands meeting and were told to go home and wait for an email that basically says we stay or go. I have never seen a more quiet workforce in my life heading out."
https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/af1n7f/spacex_will_reduce_its_workforce_by_10_percent/edute2h/
via /r/SpaceX

It's Reddit, so grain of salt, but frankly, this seems like a very employees-unfriendly way to do the layoffs. (And I am being polite here.)


Offline Lars-J

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Re: SpaceX reducing workforce by at least 10 percent
« Reply #21 on: 01/12/2019 01:05 am »
Quote
"We had an all-hands meeting and were told to go home and wait for an email that basically says we stay or go. I have never seen a more quiet workforce in my life heading out."
https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/af1n7f/spacex_will_reduce_its_workforce_by_10_percent/edute2h/
via /r/SpaceX

It's Reddit, so grain of salt, but frankly, this seems like a very employees-unfriendly way to do the layoffs. (And I am being polite here.)

There are few good ways of doing it. If that anecdote is true, I can still think of worse ways. But they don't have much experience in these kinds of layoffs.

We may be seeing SpaceX turning the corner from a startup to a more traditional company - at lest when it comes to hiring and firing practices. Hopefully they stay nimble.

Offline M.E.T.

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Re: SpaceX reducing workforce by at least 10 percent
« Reply #22 on: 01/12/2019 01:10 am »
Not sure how you reap the financial benefits of reusability without reducing some of the workforce that would have been needed to build all those expendable rockets.

No point in investing a billion dollars in making your boosters reusable and then just retaining the wage bill of an expendable rocket company. Much of the savings surely come from needing fewer people due to not having to build a new rocket for every launch.
« Last Edit: 01/12/2019 01:12 am by M.E.T. »

Offline Lars-J

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Re: SpaceX reducing workforce by at least 10 percent
« Reply #23 on: 01/12/2019 01:15 am »
Jess Foust tweets: https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1083901216290103296

Quote
@jeff_foust
 SpaceX is laying off about 10 percent of its workforce, a move it says is needed to focus on its satellite constellation and launch vehicle projects. Some in the industry long expected something like this given how fast the company grew. http://bit.ly/2ADNKyk
« Last Edit: 01/12/2019 01:18 am by Lars-J »

Offline lonestriker

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Re: SpaceX reducing workforce by at least 10 percent
« Reply #24 on: 01/12/2019 01:20 am »
Quote
"We had an all-hands meeting and were told to go home and wait for an email that basically says we stay or go. I have never seen a more quiet workforce in my life heading out."
https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/af1n7f/spacex_will_reduce_its_workforce_by_10_percent/edute2h/
via /r/SpaceX

It's Reddit, so grain of salt, but frankly, this seems like a very employees-unfriendly way to do the layoffs. (And I am being polite here.)

From that same chain you linked:

Quote
That's an unfair summary. Both Elon and Gwynne expressed how difficult this is because they know how hardworking and talented everyone is, but it was necessary to guarantee future viability. This isn't the first time this happened and won't be the last most likely. If I get laid off it'll suck but if it helps the company get to Mars I'm fine with that

https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/af1n7f/spacex_will_reduce_its_workforce_by_10_percent/eduuopw/

I've been through a lot of layoffs; they've never been pleasant but were mostly necessary.  Layoffs are the price you pay for being in a more capitalist, nimble, but also also sometimes more unfair system.  The US has many broken things and the balance of power is probably shifted too far toward the employers/management rather than the workers, but it also is the place people like Elon come to build companies.  Great things are created here, but it does come at the expense of the "little guys" sometimes.

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: SpaceX reducing workforce by at least 10 percent
« Reply #25 on: 01/12/2019 01:38 am »
I'm sure Blue could find a home few of the exSpaceX employees, would mean moving across country.


Offline cferreir

Re: SpaceX reducing workforce by at least 10 percent
« Reply #26 on: 01/12/2019 01:53 am »
More significant is that their manifest of launches for this year is much smaller than 2018. Have not checked but it might be more than 10% less....

Offline Elmar Moelzer

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Re: SpaceX reducing workforce by at least 10 percent
« Reply #27 on: 01/12/2019 01:56 am »
I am feeling sad for all the (extremely, so hear) hard working employees at SpaceX who are going to lose their jobs. I understand why they are doing it, don't get me wrong. It is a business and running a business sometimes requires tough decisions. Still, I hope that everyone who lost their jobs will quickly find great positions elsewhere. With SpaceX on your resume, it should be easy and if you have been at SpaceX for a while, you sure deserve it!

Offline bodge

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Re: SpaceX reducing workforce by at least 10 percent
« Reply #28 on: 01/12/2019 02:04 am »
Quote
"We had an all-hands meeting and were told to go home and wait for an email that basically says we stay or go. I have never seen a more quiet workforce in my life heading out."
https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/af1n7f/spacex_will_reduce_its_workforce_by_10_percent/edute2h/
via /r/SpaceX

It's Reddit, so grain of salt, but frankly, this seems like a very employees-unfriendly way to do the layoffs. (And I am being polite here.)

Worth citing for those not familiar: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worker_Adjustment_and_Retraining_Notification_Act_of_1988

I can say I've heard murmurs from beyond Reddit that second this. That being said, it's one thing to give people little notice, it's another to send all of them home and tell them to watch their e-mail.

While ULA does layoffs, I'm pretty sure they follow WARN to a T. SpaceX has never given employees notice with respect to WARN act, and always find a way to skirt just under reporting requirements. Don't be surprised if 498 employees are laid off, based on performance evaluations.

Offline brussell

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Re: SpaceX reducing workforce by at least 10 percent
« Reply #29 on: 01/12/2019 02:18 am »
I'm sure Blue could find a home few of the exSpaceX employees, would mean moving across country.

Why would Blue want to hire people who got explicitly laid off for being in the bottom 10%?

Online mme

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Re: SpaceX reducing workforce by at least 10 percent
« Reply #30 on: 01/12/2019 02:23 am »
I'm sure Blue could find a home few of the exSpaceX employees, would mean moving across country.

Why would Blue want to hire people who got explicitly laid off for being in the bottom 10%?
As pointed out above, maybe they aren't bottom 10%. Maybe they were hired for CF work, or passive TPS, or maybe they work primarily on Dragon 1 builds, etc.

And on top of that, sometimes people are not the best performer because they are not a good fit with the team they are on or the company culture.
Space is not Highlander.  There can, and will, be more than one.

Offline Elmar Moelzer

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Re: SpaceX reducing workforce by at least 10 percent
« Reply #31 on: 01/12/2019 02:30 am »
I'm sure Blue could find a home few of the exSpaceX employees, would mean moving across country.

Why would Blue want to hire people who got explicitly laid off for being in the bottom 10%?
As pointed out above, maybe they aren't bottom 10%. Maybe they were hired for CF work, or passive TPS, or maybe they work primarily on Dragon 1 builds, etc.

And on top of that, sometimes people are not the best performer because they are not a good fit with the team they are on or the company culture.
I think that anyone who lasted at SpaceX for more than a few months is a top performer in this industry. I don't mean to sound negative towards SpaceX, but from what I know, every single employee there is really great at what they do. SpaceX is very demanding, more demanding that most other companies, not just in this industry. I just hope that those who are getting laid off, won't be discouraged by this and will keep their passion for space alive.

Online Prettz

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Re: SpaceX reducing workforce by at least 10 percent
« Reply #32 on: 01/12/2019 02:48 am »
This is because of the funding problems.

Offline gongora

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Re: SpaceX reducing workforce by at least 10 percent
« Reply #33 on: 01/12/2019 02:57 am »
This is because of the funding problems.

Their only "funding problem" is starting two multi-billion dollar projects at the same time.

Offline RedLineTrain

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Re: SpaceX reducing workforce by at least 10 percent
« Reply #34 on: 01/12/2019 03:09 am »
As I understand it, generally in these situations, those fired get accelerated vesting of options.  That could be a nice parting grant for many.

Offline Wolfram66

Re: SpaceX reducing workforce by at least 10 percent
« Reply #35 on: 01/12/2019 03:19 am »
It’s called Decimation... popular with the Roman Military. Reduce your ranks 1/10 th... hence decimal.... Randomly liquidate to “Inspire” the other 90% work more efficiently... operating capital increases with salary liberated from the terminated.   Not fair or kind... just is what it is...Business

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: SpaceX reducing workforce by at least 10 percent
« Reply #36 on: 01/12/2019 03:34 am »
I'm sure Blue could find a home few of the exSpaceX employees, would mean moving across country.
Blue's sugardaddy just lost ~half his assets.

But actually yeah, I do expect Blue would hire some of them.

And I think turnover isn't really bad for the industry overall. If SpaceX had zero turnover, there wouldn't be a Firefly, Relativity, and many folks at Blue, Virgin, Rocketlab, etc. But it does suck hard for the people and families it happens to.

What I hope happens is more startups.

As far as SpaceX, it's neither good nor bad. Just a thing that probably has to happen to maintain enough efficiency to grow to Mars while retaining the financial independence necessary to achieve that goal.

... but that doesn't mean there can't be another way.
« Last Edit: 01/12/2019 03:35 am by Robotbeat »
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Offline su27k

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Re: SpaceX reducing workforce by at least 10 percent
« Reply #37 on: 01/12/2019 03:34 am »
Some quotes from articles:

SpaceNews
Quote
The layoffs, a company source said, don’t indicate near-term financial problems at the company but rather a redistribution of resources to focus on development of its next-generation launch system and broadband constellation. They also reflect, note others in the industry, the belief that SpaceX grew quickly and likely needed to restructure in any event to lower its costs.

L.A. Times
Quote
SpaceX is offering a minimum of eight weeks’ pay and other benefits to laid-off workers, according to Shotwell’s email. The company will also provide assistance with career coaching, resume help and job searches.

Offline Draggendrop

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Re: SpaceX reducing workforce by at least 10 percent
« Reply #38 on: 01/12/2019 03:36 am »
SpaceX is reducing work force by 10%....but...

These job listings speak volumes...

https://www.spacex.com/careers/list

https://www.linkedin.com/jobs/spacex-jobs?currentJobId=1006755972

It is always sad when meaningful jobs are lost but I believe that this happened for a re-alignment and fiscal responsibility. The future is still very bright.

My 2 cents.

Offline mlindner

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Re: SpaceX reducing workforce by at least 10 percent
« Reply #39 on: 01/12/2019 04:10 am »
Great move, sack the people who have made you what your are.

I wouldn't be so harsh. This is what corporate layoffs are and are VERY common in Silicon Valley. Whenever companies pivot to new technologies, shift to new products, get rid of old products, or even for some companies simply every year as a matter of practice, layoffs will happen. These are needed to clean out employees that while may have done awesome work in the past are either 1. too overpaid for the work they're performing or 2. suddenly have a lack of work because of products becoming obsolete. Obviously ideally they can retrain people to other jobs but sometimes that's just not possible or requires too much effort compared to hiring new people.

This does not spell doom for SpaceX and in fact I would say doing this is probably healthy and a good thing to do.
« Last Edit: 01/12/2019 04:11 am by mlindner »
Internal combustion engine in space. It's just a Bad Idea.TM - Robotbeat

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