Jeff Bezos’ Employees Release Essay Describing ‘Toxic’ Workplace At Blue Origin

by : Hannah Smith on : 30 Sep 2021 19:01
Jeff Bezos' Employees Release Essay Describing 'Toxic' Workplace At Blue OriginAlamy

Workers at Blue Origin have labelled the space company a ‘toxic’ workplace and claimed that boss Jeff Bezos has prioritised ‘competing with other billionaires’ over safety concerns.

In an open letter written by a group of 21 current and former employees, Bezos and Blue Origin are accused of pushing ahead with an unsafe schedule in order to win the so-called second space race, as well as fostering a ‘sexist’ workplace environment.


‘Competing with other billionaires – and ‘making progress for Jeff’ – seemed to take precedence over safety concerns that would have slowed down the schedule,’ wrote lead author Alexandra Abrams, Blue Origin’s former head of employee communications.

Jeff Bezos (Alamy)Alamy

As a result, the letter claims, several employees have said that they themselves would not feel safe flying in a Blue Origin spacecraft, despite Bezos himself having flown to sub-orbital space in one of the company’s rockets earlier this year.

The letter reads:


Many of us have spent our careers dreaming of helping to launch a crewed rocket into space and seeing it safely touch back down on Earth.

But when Jeff Bezos flew to space this July, we did not share his elation. Instead, many of us watched with an overwhelming sense of unease. Some of us couldn’t bear to watch at all.

Abrams also claims that several high-ranking executives have been accused of sexual harassment and other misconduct, with one executive allegedly first promoted before eventually being removed over allegations he groped female employees.

Blue Origin's Cape Canaveral Production Base (Alamy)Alamy

Following the letter’s publication, Abrams appeared on CBS to discuss the claims, saying, ‘You cannot create a culture of safety and a culture of fear at the same time. They are incompatible.’


Abrams said she decided to speak out after Blue Origin reportedly began rolling out non-disclosure agreements preventing employees from taking legal action or speaking out against alleged discrimination and harassment.

In response, a spokesperson for Blue Origin told CNBC that the company would investigate the claims and ‘has no tolerance for discrimination or harassment of any kind’.

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Hannah Smith

Hannah is a London-based journalist covering news and features for UNILAD. She's especially interested in social and political activism.

Topics: Technology, Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos, Now, sexual harassment


  1. CNBC

    Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin is a ‘toxic’ workplace, some current and ex-workers claim in essay