By all accounts, Tim Cook appears to be pretty happy being the Chief Executive Officer of Apple. So it wouldn’t be too surprising to hear that he wouldn’t be keen on the idea of giving up the position to anyone else. And according to one story, Cook made sure Elon Musk of all people knew that wasn’t a possibility.
Things got interesting earlier today when the L.A. Times shared their review of an upcoming book called Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk, and the Bet of the Century. The book was written by journalist Tim Higgins of The Wall Street Journal.
According to a story passed around within Tesla, and shared in the upcoming book by Higgins, Elon Musk and Tim Cook were on a phone call back in 2016 when the idea of an acquisition of Tesla by Apple came up. Cook apparently made the suggestion for Apple to acquire Tesla, and Musk was apparently on board. However, Musk said he wanted to remain CEO — and Cook believed at first this meant remaining the CEO of Tesla.
Apparently that’s not what Musk meant, though. Musk clarified on the call, saying he wanted to become the CEO of Apple if the acquisition went through. Cook was not having that, though, and apparently responded with an expletive, essentially shutting that down entirely:
As detailed in POWER PLAY, this is a story that was told inside Tesla as the company struggled with the Model X, according to people who heard it, and as some hoped for a white knight to save the day. Musk’s message was clear: Tesla’s fate was in their own hands. https://t.co/4e0KJb3CD2
— Tim Higgins (@timkhiggins) July 30, 2021
Now, it didn’t take long before Musk loaded up Twitter and posted his thoughts on the subject. According to Tesla’s CEO, he and Cook have “never spoken or written” to one another “ever.” Musk goes on to say that he requested a meeting with Cook to talk options (including “Apple buying Tesla”), but nothing happened:
Cook & I have never spoken or written to each other ever.
There was a point where I requested to meet with Cook to talk about Apple buying Tesla. There were no conditions of acquisition proposed whatsoever.
He refused to meet. Tesla was worth about 6% of today’s value.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 30, 2021
Musk goes on to say that much of the book is false, regarding many of the discoveries made regarding the start of Tesla. In a follow up tweet on Friday, Musk says Higgins “managed to make his book both false *and* boring” with some laughing emoji thrown in for good measure.
The L.A. Times says Musk wanted to tone things down even while the book was being written:
Musk apparently did not participate in the creation of “Power Play.” In an author’s note at the end, Higgins writes that Musk “was given numerous opportunities to comment on the stories, facts, and characterizations presented in these pages. Without pointing to any specific inaccuracies, he offered simply this: ‘Most, but not all, of what you read in this book is nonsense.’”
As for Apple? The company is also denying the story, and notes that Cook has said in the past, including an interview he did with The New York Times where he said he’d never spoken with Musk. At the time, Cook said:
You know, I’ve never spoken to Elon, although I have great admiration and respect for the company he’s built.
So, both Musk and Apple (in general) are denying the pretty wild story. But, it’s certainly a fun way to close out the week.
What do you think of Elon Musk being the CEO of Apple? Think it’d work?