- A Blue Origin exec said in a 2018 memo that his company was “kind of lazy compared to SpaceX,” reports say.
- In the memo, executives also discussed rival SpaceX’s “very long” working hours, according to The Verge and Ars Technica.
- Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Elon Musk’s SpaceX are fierce rivals in the modern space race.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
A Blue Origin executive said in a 2018 internal memo that the spaceflight company was “kind of lazy” compared with its rival SpaceX, according to reports Monday.
A section of the Blue Origin memo noted the “very long hours” expected at SpaceX, saying that burnout was “part of their labor strategy” and “people are expected to work on vacations or not take them,” according to The Verge.
Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Elon Musk’s SpaceX are the world’s preeminent commercial spaceflight companies. The 2018 memo was compiled for Blue Origin CEO Ben Smith as part of an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of SpaceX, according to Ars Technica.
Another Blue Origin executive suggested in the memo that the company’s standard 40-hour work week wouldn’t be enough to meet its ambitions, according to The Verge and Ars Technica.
Per The Verge, a Blue Origin executive said in the memo: “Blue is kind of lazy compared to SpaceX.”
According to Ars Technica, another executive said in the memo: “We need to talk about the time and effort personnel are spending to achieve our mission,” adding: “If we expect greater than 40 hours, let’s clearly communicate that and evaluate personnel based on that guidance.”
Per Ars Technica, a different executive said in the 2018 Blue Origin memo: “We need to get more out of our employees. The lack of effort over weekends to meet deadlines is not a culture I am accustomed to in an operations outfit.”
In an open letter to Blue Origin published September 30, 2021, some 21 current and former employees accused the company of sacrificing safety in an effort to win the billionaire space race and fostering a toxic and sexist work culture. Blue Origin said it had “no tolerance for discrimination or harassment of any kind” and stood by its safety record.
Blue Origin and SpaceX didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.