Jeff Bezos
(Photo : GettlyImages/ SOPA Images ) Jeff Bezos Blue Origin

Blue Origin has lost 17 key senior engineers and leaders since Jeff Bezos flew to space last month. He has lost top talent since he came back to Earth.

Many of the engineers resigned just weeks after the billionaire's spaceflight. Others have updated their LinkedIn pages over the past weeks.

Blue Origin Engineers Resigned

According to CNBC, the departures include New Shepard senior vice president Steve Bennet, national security sales director Scott Jacobs, chief of mission assurance Jess Ashby, New Glenn senior director Bob Ess, New Gless senior finance manager Bill Scammell and New Glenn first stage senior director Tod Byguist.

It also included senior manager of production testing Christopher Payne, senior propulsion design engineer Dave Sanderson, New Shepard technical project manager Nate Chapman, senior HLS human factors engineer Rachel Forman, and New Shepard lead avionics software engineer Huong Vo.

Also Read: Jeff Bezos, Crewmates Received 14-Hour Training for Blue Origin Spaceflight

The rest of the engineers who resigned are BE-4 controller lead integration and testing engineer Jack Nelson, BE-7 avionics hardware engineer Aaron Wang, rocket engine development engineer Gerry Hudak, and propulsion engineer Rex Gu.

Most of the Blue Origin engineers transferred to SpaceX.

The engineers and leaders who announced that they were leaving the company did not specify the reason why, but frustration with executive management and a slow bureaucratic structure is usually cited in employee reviews on sites like Glassdoor.

A spokesperson for Blue Origin stated that the company still grew despite the sudden resignation of their top employees. In 2020, the company grew by 850, and they have grown by 650 more in 2021.

The spokesperson added that the company has grown by almost a factor of four over the past three years. Blue Origin plans to immediately fill out the leadership roles in quality, manufacturing, vehicle design, and engine design. The company is currently building a new team.

Some of the top engineers who left the company were part of the lunar lander program. The space firm lost its bid for a NASA development contract in April when its competitor, SpaceX, was announced as the awardee under NASA's Human Landing System program, winning a contract with $2.9 billion.

However, despite the Government Accountability Office denying the space firm's protest of NASA's decision, the firm has continued to escalate the issue, according to Fox Business.

The space firm launched a public relations offensive against SpaceX. Blue Origin also sued NADA in federal court over the contract. 

A $10,000 Cash Bonus

The space firm has almost 4,000 employees around the United States. Its headquarters is located in Kent, Washington, but it also has facilities in Van Horn, Texas, Cape Canaveral, Florida, and Huntsville, Alabama. 

Ten days after Jeff Bezos flew to space, the space firm reportedly gave all of its full-time employees a $10,000 cash bonus. None of the contractors received the bonus, according to NBC News.

The company also confirmed that the bonus was a way for them to say "thank you" to the employees because they were able to achieve the milestone of launching people to space.

The bonus was also perceived as the company's way of attempting to entice their talents to stay in response to the number of employees filing notices to leave the firm after Bezos' space flight.

Related Article: Elon Musk Agrees that Blue Origin Should Spend More Time on Rocket Science Instead of Protesting NASA's HLS Decisions | Alleged $900 Million Spent on Lobbying

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Written by Sophie Webster

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