Blue Origin Employees Leaving After Losing Major Government & NASA Contracts5th Sep 2021
As Jeff Bezos’ company keeps losing lucrative contracts, many high-ranking Blue Origin employees are jumping ship. According to recent reports, 17 team members have already left the aerospace company, and many of them got jobs in competitors’ businesses. So, while Jeff Bezos could have felt triumphant while travelling to the edge of space, the matters back on Earth may not look as bright for the company.
Is Losing The NASA Contract A Reason For Blue Origin Employees Leaving?
Losing NASA’s $2.9 billion lunar lander contract to SpaceX is only one of the most recent misfortunes for Blue Origin. While it is too early to assume that these two are directly connected, Nitin Arora, lead engineer on the lunar lander programme at Blue Origin, did get a position at SpaceX several weeks ago.
More notable departures include Lauren Lyons, who was hired as a chief operating officer by Firefly Aerospace. Ex-NASA astronaut Jeff Ashby and Steve Bennet also left the Blue Origin team. The Blue Origin COO quit his job in late 2020 following the loss of many major government contracts.
Blue Origin Comment on Recent Departures
The official comment on Blue Origin employees rapidly departing the company is rather positive, though. The company’s spokesperson does not deny the high turnover but stresses that many more valuable assets have been added to the team. Blue Origin hired 850 people in 2020 and 650 more in 2021. The company claims to continue filling out major leadership positions in manufacturing, engine, and spacecraft design, stressing that it is building a team of talented professionals.
On the other hand, high turnover implies that the space industry is a challenging niche not so easy to break into — even for a millionaire and the owner of Amazon and, while rapid Blue Origin employees departure may not yet mean a disaster for the company, the issue does raise a red flag.