Tesla CEO Elon Musk threw some serious shade at Apple and its rumored car project in a recent interview with German newspaper Handelsblatt. Business Insider shares the comments, in which Musk calls Apple a “graveyard” for Tesla employees who can’t hack it.
When asked about reports that Apple has hired away important Tesla engineers, Musk replied: “Important engineers? They’ve hired people we’ve fired. We jokingly call Apple the “Tesla Graveyard.” If you don’t make it at Tesla, you go work at Apple. I’m not kidding.”
When asked if he takes Apple’s [car] ambitions seriously, he responded: “Did you ever take a look at the Apple Watch? (laughs) No, seriously: It’s good that Apple is moving and investing in this direction. But cars are very complex compared to phones or smartwatches. You can’t just go to a supplier like Foxconn and say: Build me a car.”
Given that Apple is widely believed to be moving in on Tesla’s territory, it’s easy to see why Musk would be defensive. But his comments strike a similar chord to those made by former Palm CEO Ed Colligan, who famously said Apple wasn’t going to “walk into” the phone business.
Earlier this year, Mr. Musk told Bloomberg that Tesla is poaching 5:1 more employees from Apple than vice versa, despite the fact that Apple has offered signing bonuses of up to$250,000 and 60% salary raises. It’s believed Apple is aiming to put its car on the road by 2020.