Re: At least SpaceX didn't bin them a week before Christmas
A 10% cut suddenly announced doesn't fill me with confidence that the management knows what it's doing.
Whilst it would indeed be better for staffing levels to be managed by natural means (not replacing organic departures/retirees), please show me a significantly sized business that has never made redundancies.
Whether it's IBM (since 1911), JCB (since 1945), Boeing (since 1916), John Deere (since 1837) or RBS (since 1727).
Okay, RBS isn't the greatest example, but it hardly means the company is about to go bust or the management "doesn't know what it's doing" (Fred the Shred knew exactly what he was doing, in the knowledge the government would bail him out). Given the parlous state of US Employment law and the laughable notion of "Employee Rights", it's no shock to see companies hiring and firing as it suits them.
This is not the first time SpaceX have had a round of staff cuts (though 10% is more than usual), nor is it especially unexpected - R&D on Falcon Heavy is done, they don't need as many F9s or Merlin 1D engines because they're reusing so many - so certain manufacturing jobs at Hawthorne are going. They don't need as many people for refurb/inspection as they did for manufacturing new vehicles but StarShip production hasn't started yet beyond the prototypes, so the production staff are being scaled back. And indeed reading round the forums there's appears to be one of those fabled management culls bundled for good measure, which is why it's 10% rather than 5-7%.
They've also worked their way through a significant backlog of customers, so launch cadence is liable to level off a bit this year until some of the "New Space" projects like SpaceX's own StarLink (and competitor projects) start launching.