by Ailan Evans
A letter written by current and former employees of Jeff Bezos’ rocket company Blue Origin took aim at the company’s workplace culture.
The letter, posted on website Lioness and written by former Head of Blue Origin Employee Communications Alexandra Abrams along with 20 unnamed current and former employees, criticized the company’s culture and work environment as “stuck in a toxic past.”
“One-hundred percent of the senior technical and program leaders are men,” the employees wrote, bashing the Blue Origin workforce for being “mostly male and overwhelmingly white.”
The employees claimed Blue Origin’s workplace culture was sexist, alleging that several senior employees were inappropriate with women, with one senior executive reported several times for sexual harassment. The authors said that women’s opinions were not respected, and criticized the company for not taking steps to become carbon neutral.
The employees also raised safety concerns, arguing that the company prioritized progress over the safety of employees, and questioning whether Bezos’ competition to commercialize with SpaceX’s Elon Musk and Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson was potentially hazardous.
“Competing with other billionaires—and ‘making progress for Jeff’—seemed to take precedence over safety concerns that would have slowed down the schedule,” they wrote.
Blue Origin dismissed the allegations.
“Blue Origin has no tolerance for discrimination or harassment of any kind. We provide numerous avenues for employees, including a 24/7 anonymous hotline, and will promptly investigate any new claims of misconduct,” a Blue Origin spokesperson said in a statement shared with the Daily Caller News Foundation. “We stand by our safety record and believe that New Shepard is the safest space vehicle ever designed or built.”
The spokesperson also questioned Abrams’ motivations for writing the letter,
“Ms. Abrams was dismissed for cause two years ago after repeated warnings for issues involving federal export control regulations,” the spokesperson said.
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Ailan Evans is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Jeff Bezos” by Daniel Oberhaus CC BY 2.0.