Several prominent employees slam the door of Blue Origin

Several prominent Blue Origin employees slammed the door recently, for reasons that are still unclear. If these departures don’t put the company at risk, they could still have consequences.

But what’s happening to Blue Origin? According to information obtained by CNBC and relayed by SlashGear, the company is apparently suffering from a real brain drain; the company has reportedly recently lost “at least 17” engineers and other very important employees who held critical positions for the company.

Most of these departures are believed to have occurred shortly after founder Jeff Bezos’ much-publicized heist. According to CNBC, this list would include many managers assigned to very important positions in sales or relationships with institutions. The door also slammed the door with ultra-qualified and low-skilled technical personnel; this is the case with Dave Sanderson, one of the brains of the propulsion team. And there is more serious for Blue Origin: among the resigning, we also find several senior officials and key engineers of the New Glenn program, the next generation of rockets developed by Blue Origin.

The company assures through a spokesperson quoted by CNBC that “will continue to play an important role“In this sector. It also indicates that you have “great talents“to do so. And in fact Blue Origin has a considerable base of employees (over 3,500); they will certainly find talented people capable of taking over from those who have resigned. The speech is therefore reassuring, and the future of the company does not seem threatened. On the other hand, we imagine that the company would have gladly done without this wave of departures, for several reasons.

Inappropriate timing for Blue Origin

Because if they are certainly not enough to derail the project, these departures could still cause delays in the design of New Glenn … and therefore a delay on the competition. A notion that Jeff Bezos is allergic to; We recall that delays of this type had already caused the departure of the president of operations Terry Benedict last year. If such a scenario were to occur, it would be another huge setback for Blue Origin; the company has made significant efforts to seek leadership in this new space race.

The other embarrassing point is the message these departures send. Some of the former employees, in fact, went straight to the competition bell. The reasons for these resignations remain unclear at the moment. But whatever they are, this observation strengthens the image of a company with unenviable working conditions; CNBC warns for example that on the professional network Glass door, the degree of approval of Blue Origin’s employees is not flattering. A figure that recalls another company founded by Jeff Bezos, and which clearly contrasts with the liking of SpazioX… In which certain resignations would have found a point of fall. Obviously, this is a more than questionable metric, but one that remains interesting nonetheless.

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SpaceX appears to be NASA’s treasure, much to the dismay of the Blue Team. © SpaceX via Unsplash

“The HLS affair”, the straw that broke the camel’s back?

The “HLS case” may also have played a role. Like SpaceX, Blue Origin was supposed to inherit a contract with NASA for the Human Landing System, the future lunar lander for the Artemis mission. But against all odds, the SpaceX company was the only one to benefit from the precious sesame. A decision that rebelled Blue Origin; the company has since filed a lawsuit against NASA, which has paralyzed work on HLS. But Jeff Bezos could do anything, his team still has no guarantee of taking part in the return of Man to the Moon. It is possible that this uncertainty has overwhelmed the motivation of some employees.

There is certainly no need to worry about the survival of Blue Origin, which should recover from these departures. But the general dynamic that is emerging is not the most reassuring; back on its own time, snubbed by NASA which made SpaceX its darling and now disowned by some employees, Jeff Bezos’ team negotiated the first corner of this race very badly. It remains to await the verdict of his lawsuit against NASA; if he were in favor of the blue team, he could very well put him back in the bracket.