Elon Musk once demanded to be made the CEO of Apple during discussions of a potential Tesla buyout with Tim Cook, according to a new book — though both Musk and Cook deny they have ever spoken.
The surprising 2016 conversation is one of the details revealed in the upcoming book Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk and the Bet of the Century by Wall Street Journal reporter Tim Higgins, according to a review in the Los Angeles Times.
Apple CEO Tim Cook had called Musk to propose acquiring the electric carmaker, which was struggling financially ahead of the unveiling of the Model 3, according to the book.
Musk expressed his interest in the idea but had one condition, telling Cook: ‘I’m CEO.’
Elon Musk once demanded to be made the CEO of Apple during discussions of a potential Tesla buyout, according to a new book
Cook at first thought Musk meant that he wanted to remain CEO of Tesla after the merger, and said that he was not opposed to the idea.
But when Musk clarified that he expected to take Cook’s job as Apple CEO, Cook responded ‘F*** you’ and hung up, according to the new book.
Apple denies the conversation took place – and says, in fact, Cook has never even spoken to Musk.
Musk also refuted the report in a tweet, writing: ‘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,’ added Musk.
A new book dives into the history of Tesla
The book was apparently written without any cooperation from Musk. When given opportunities to comment, Higgins said Musk declined, except to tell the author: ‘Most, but not all, of what you read in this book is nonsense.’
Many of the anecdotes revealed in the book highlight Musk’s mercurial temper.
In one case, a factory line worker at Tesla’s factory in Fremont, California told Musk that he’d come up with a way to fix a car window’s screeching sound by making an incision in the seal.
Musk flew into a rage at manufacturing executive John Ensign, who was present, demanding to know why he hadn’t come up with the solution.
‘This is unacceptable that you had a person working in your factory that knows the solution and you don’t even know that!’ Musk reportedly said.
Musk fired Ensign, who actually had known about the proposed fix, but didn’t want to embarrass the factory worker by revealing that engineers had already tried it, but found that it only worked temporarily.
When Musk said that he expected to take Tim Cook’s job as Apple CEO, Cook responded ‘F*** you’ and hung up, according to the new book
According to the LA Times review, the book focuses more on the history of Tesla than Musk personally, highlighting the achievements of lesser known employees, many of whom departed after clashing with Musk.
Earlier this week, Tesla announced that its quarterly profit had surpassed $1billion for the first time, and the company is now valued at a staggering $680 billion.
The financial milestone announced on Monday extended a two-year run of prosperity that has erased questions about Tesla’s long-term viability raised during its early years of losses and production problems.
Tesla now has cemented its position as the leader in the shift away from gas-combustion that is expected to make it even more profitable than during its most recent quarter.
Musk hold’s the world’s second largest personal fortune at $185 billion as of Thursday, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
For all its recent success, Tesla’s momentum could still be slowed by a persisting shortage of chips that have become vital parts in modern cars.
While other major automakers had to dramatically curtail production during the first half, Tesla so far has been able to secure an adequate supply of chips to churn out vehicles at the fastest rate in its history.
In the most recent quarter, Tesla delivered more than 206,000 vehicles within a three-month span for the first time in its history. It is also gearing up to add another sports utility vehicle, the Model Y, to its lineup later this year.