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Blue Origin’s ‘Authoritarian Bro Culture’ Called Out By Current & Former Workers
By Alexa Heah, 13 Oct 2021
Image via Blue Origin
Previously, it emerged that Jeff Bezos’ space venture Blue Origin was facing a mass exodus, with over a dozen key members of staff leaving the firm. Earlier this month, current and former employees also revealed in an open letter that they weren’t confident in the company’s spaceflight safety measures.
Now, a group of ex and current employees—though it’s unknown if it’s the same group as before—have spoken to The Washington Post about what they call an “authoritarian bro culture” that has allegedly affected Blue Origin’s inner workings.
“[Management] is out of touch with the rank-and-file pretty severely. It’s very dysfunctional. It’s condescending. It’s demoralizing, and what happens is we can’t make progress and end up with huge delays,” one of the sources tells The Post.
Other members of the group recall sexism in the workplace, as well as how Blue Origin apparently cannot keep up with key competitors like SpaceX, though Bezos hasn’t stopped taking on Elon Musk.
According to Input, some of the stories shared by staff are pretty harrowing, such as an uncouth comment that wasn’t punished. More stories touch on how the company is unstable from the inside, with delays and poor management.
How should Blue Origin go about fixing this mess? Well, if you ask the insiders, they’d say the only way would be for Bezos to completely “start over.” An employee says: “You should be the CEO if you really want to do something, but you basically need a new executive team and a totally new culture.”
Despite the glitz and glamor of the space firm’s multiple trips, such as Inspiration4, and the inclusion of celebrities like William Shatner in its upcoming trip, it seems such public-facing stunts haven’t been good enough to drown out its critics. With so many leaks coming from within the organization, it isn’t surprising that beyond the allure of outer space could lie a questionable work culture.
[via Input, cover image via Blue Origin]
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