- Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith sent a companywide email to employees of Jeff Bezos’ venture in response to allegations of a toxic workplace.
- Smith’s email, obtained by CNBC, seeks to “reassure” the company that Blue Origin’s spacecraft and rockets are safe, and that there is “no tolerance for discrimination or harassment of any kind.”
Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith sent a companywide email to employees of Jeff Bezos’ venture as an internal response to allegations of a toxic and sexist workplace being raised in an essay published by a former employee..
The essay, published Thursday, was signed by Alexandra Abrams, former employee communications chief at Blue Origin. The essay said it was supported by 20 current and former employees who were not identified. It cited two instances of alleged sexual harassment by senior Blue Origin leadership. It also said that the company insisted on strict non-disclosure agreements, and that it raised safety concerns and environmental issues regarding the company’s practices.
Smith’s email, obtained by CNBC, sought to “reassure” the company that Blue Origin’s spacecraft and rockets are safe, and that it has “no tolerance for discrimination or harassment of any kind.”
“I welcome and encourage any member of Team Blue to speak directly to me if they have any concerns on any topic at any time,” Smith said in Thursday’s email.
The space company did not respond to CNBC’s request for comment about Smith’s internal email.
Read Smith’s full email below.
Today you must have noticed that some claims were made against our team.
Like any criticism, whether personal or professional, and whether the criticism is fair or unfounded, it is never easy to listen. It takes reflection and humility to sort out what is useful and what is not.
It’s especially difficult and painful, for me, to hear claims that attempt to portray our entire team in a way that doesn’t align with the character and ability I see every day at Blue Origin. I see
Still, one of our Blue Leadership Principles states that “Leaders are honestly open-minded, and humbly examine their own strongest beliefs. They value diversity in all its forms.” , because different perspectives result in new ideas. Their openness enables them to trust the people around them—and earn the trust of others in return.”
We wrote and published that theory, and others, and today, and always, will be self-critical and hold themselves to the highest standard.
While we reflect on what we can learn and improve, I want to reassure the team on a few points.
First, the New Shepard team went through a systematic and painstaking process to certify our vehicle for the first manned flight. Anyone who claims otherwise is uninformed and simply wrong. That team is justifiably proud of the work they do and so should we.
It should also be stressed that we do not tolerate any form of discrimination or harassment. We provide a number of avenues, including a 24/7 anonymous hotline for employees, we investigate and act on any findings, and we will investigate any new claims of misconduct promptly. As always, I welcome and encourage any member of Team Blue to speak directly to me if they have any concerns on any topic at any time.
Lastly, there should never be any doubt that we have an amazing team doing amazing work. Our team consists of the best and brightest professionals in the aerospace industry. People who are dedicated, work hard and are passionate about our mission.
We will continue to rapidly grow that talented team, keeping our efforts focused and supporting each other. And, step by step, we will make even greater progress.
ruthlessly step by step