Did Elon Musk Ask Tim Cook to Make Him Apple's CEO In a ‘Fiery’ Phone Call?

Published August 2nd, 2021 - 06:00 GMT
Elon Musk and Tim Cook
(Shutterstock: charnsitr - Edited by Riham Darwish/ Albawaba)

A new book written by a journalist working for theWall Street Journal has promised to unearth a number of the darkest secrets related to the world's renowned billionaire Elon Musk, but how true is it?

In his 400-page book titled Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk, and the Bet of the Century, Tim Higgins delves into the life of Tesla's innovator and world's second-richest man on earth, uncovering some of the least known information about the man who makes headlines every other day.

Musk, unlike other billionaires, has been famous for his unusual business adventures and statements, including his on and off investments in cryptocurrencies, namely Bitcoin and Dogecoin. He has maintained his business lead of electric cars through the Tesla brand, while he funds SpaceX, which promises humans of approaching colonization of the red planet.

Tim Higgins' Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk, and the Bet of the Century Cover - Doubleday

However, some of the anecdotes mentioned in Higgins' book have stirred so much controversy that not only did Musk have to make a public statement to refute, but also another well-known tech billionaire.

In the book, Higgins details a whole incident he says took place in 2016, in which Elon Musk called Apple's Tim Cook "to negotiate a deal in which Apple buys all of Tesla, but makes Musk as CEO of Apple", which reportedly "irritated Tim Cook."

Even though the book highlights that the alleged phone call "took place at a time Musk was struggling with the failure of Tesla's Model 3," both Musk and Cook confirmed contemplating a sale of Tesla to Apple during 2016 and 2017, but that they had never spoken directly to each other.

In response to a tweet on the 30th of July 2021, Musk explained that he had requested a meeting with Tim Cook to discuss the idea unconditionally, but that Cook's refusal to meet him killed the deal. Musk's tweet did not sound regretful at all as he added that "Tesla's then was worth only 6% of its current value."

In addition to this story on the Tesla-Apple deal, Higgins also highlights a number of stories about Elon Musk's attitude towards his employees, claiming that he is "quick to fire people whether they deserve it or not," citing episodes of "rage and wrath." This claim has echoed a 2018 report in which Musk was accused of being an abusive boss to his employers, one whose mood swings had inspired the term "Elon’s rage firings."

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