Rocket company SpaceX has announced plans to lay off about 10 percent of its workforce in the coming weeks. The workforce reduction was announced in an email sent to employees by President Gwynne Shotwell. The move is expected to affect about 600 of the company’s more than 6,000 employees.
In the email, Shotwell said, “To continue delivering for our customers and to succeed in developing interplanetary spacecraft and a global space-based Internet, SpaceX must become a leaner company. Either of these developments, even when attempted separately, have bankrupted other organizations. This means we must part ways with some talented and hardworking members of our team.”
According to the company, affected employees will be offered a minimum of eight weeks’ pay and other benefits. The company will also be providing the employees with career coaching, resume help, and job searches. This isn’t the first time the company has made job cuts. Last summer, the company fired seven members of the senior management team at the company’s Redmond, Wash., office.
SpaceX earns most of its income from commercial and national security satellite launches. The company also holds two NASA contracts, one to deliver cargo to the International Space Station and the other to develop a capsule that will deliver astronauts to the space station. Last month’s launch of a Falcon 9 rocket to carry a $500 million GPS satellite made by Lockheed Martin into space was the company’s 21st launch of 2018. That was up from 18 launches the year before.
Earlier this month, the privately held company raised about $273 million in equity and other securities in an offering, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. According to Equidate, which tracks private-company valuations, the company is now worth about $31 billion.