Upset about Starlink’s pace, SpaceX’s Musk reportedly shook up management team

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. 

Mario Tama / Techhnews

Elon Musk is apparently very serious about his goal of launching Space X’s first batch of satellites by the middle of next year.

The SpaceX CEO reportedly went to the Seattle area in June for meetings about the company’s Starlink program, which aims to bring speedy broadband to the whole world. There, he abruptly fired at least seven members of the project’s senior managers over disagreements on the pace of the team’s development and tests, Reuters said Wednesday. Musk reportedly brought in managers from SpaceX’s headquarters in California to the office in Redmond, Washington.

“Given the success of our recent Starlink demonstration satellites, we have incorporated lessons learned and re-organized to allow for the next design iteration to be flown in short order,” said a SpaceX spokesperson in an email statement. 

As part of the Starlink program, SpaceX launched a pair of prototype satellites in February on its Falcon 9 rocket. The two constellations of satellites, totaling over 11,000 orbiting craft in all, kicked off the ambitious endeavor to deliver terrestrial-quality broadband to anywhere on the globe.

However, the program is struggling to retain talent, according to Reuters. Roughly 300 SpaceX employees reportedly work on Starlink in Redmond. So far, about 50 workers have reportedly left the company on their own for reasons that are unclear.

First published on Oct. 31, 9:54 a.m. PT.

Updates, 2:02 p.m. PT: Adds SpaceX spokesperson statement. 

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