21 current and ex-workers call Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin ‘toxic’ workplace


21 current and ex-workers call Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin ‘toxic’ workplace

An essay posted by 21 current and former employees of Blue Origin, the space company headed by Jeff Bezos, said that the workplace was “toxic.” Alexandra Abrams, who is a former employee of the space company detailed the toxicity in an interview aired on Thursday on CBS Mornings. On Thursday, the Lioness website also published the essay.

The essay was signed by Abrams. It mentioned that it was endorsed by 20 other current and former employees who names were not listed. The company has strict non-disclosure agreements and more. In the interview Abrams said that she was no longer afraid of the company and “had gotten far enough away” that she could no longer be silenced.

The essay mentioned that although gender gaps were present in the space industry, there was a particular brand of sexism in Blue Origin.

It also detailed two examples of sexual harassment from senior officials. One of them, a close friend of Bezos, has since left when he graduated from demeaning sexist comments to physical groping which finally led to his removal from the space company.

Linda Mills sent a detailed statement to CNBC outlining why Abrams was fired. Abrams agreed that she was fired but refuted the cause. Mills also said that Blue Origin had no tolerance for discrimination or harassment of any kind.

Other issues brought up in the essay included strict non disclosure agreements that affected mental health, safety concerns that led to firing or being paid off, if concerns were voiced. It also noted that increasing impatience and competition with other billionaires took precedence over safety concerns.

On Thursday, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released a statement to CNBC which said that they were reviewing the safety concerns that had been raised in the essay and that they took “every safety allegation seriously.”

There was no response by spokesperson Mills to the other issues mentioned about Blue Origin in the essay that were raised by CNBC.

 (Image credit: Blue Origin)

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