Here’s the explosive Elon Musk-Tim Cook story both parties deny

From the L.A. Times’ review of “Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk and the Bet of the Century” by Wall Street Journal reporter Tim Higgins.

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook and Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk are talking on the phone. The 2016 unveiling of the make-it-or-break-it Model 3 is coming soon, but Tesla is in serious financial trouble. Cook has an idea: Apple buys Tesla.

Musk is interested, but one condition: “I’m CEO.”

Sure, says Cook. When Apple bought Beats in 2014, it kept on the founders, Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre.

No, Musk says. Apple. Apple CEO.

“F— you” Cook says, and hangs up.

My take: Cook told Kara Swisher he’d never spoken to Musk, and Musk swears he’s never spoken or written to Cook. Some stories are just too good to check.

14 Comments

  1. Kirk DeBernardi said:
    Sounds a bit Hollywood to me.

    1
    July 31, 2021
    • Bart Yee said:
      @Kirk I agree, sounds like he wants to write a screenplay.

      Personally, I think if Cook ever spoke with another CEO like Musk, and had that come up, he’d use measured words to decline that option, and try to discuss or negotiate. If Musk was to insist, a flat No Go, untenable, not an option, sorry. And that’s it. No drama, no swear words, no burning bridges.

      Frankly, if Apple had really wanted to buy Tesla, they would just have done a tender bid or hostile takeover but really, that’s not Apple’s style. In 2016, there was a better than even chance that Tesla would also go bankrupt so Apple could also just wait and see if Tesla survived and bought on the cheap.

      And doubly important, Musk as Tesla’s CEO is as much of the draw as he would be a headache to Apple no matter what position he would hold or if he was pushed out. At the time, EV manufacturing would have been a huge gamble and distraction, a major culture issue for Apple, and a very messy, public integration and transition process, plus no guarantees that Apple/Tesla products would have flourished, especially since all Tesla products had NO Apple input whatsoever.

      As in baseball, sometimes the best move you make is no move at all.

      0
      July 31, 2021
  2. Romeo A Esparrago Jr said:
    Where’s the author from? WSJ. OIC.

    Here’s my just as good made up exchange between the two:

    E : “Buy me?”
    T : “ Nah, just give the money back to your shareholders”
    E : “ F* that, imma go to Mars instead then”

    4
    July 31, 2021
  3. Fred Stein said:
    Tim Higgins is pimping his book on Tesla. Nothing more.

    1
    July 31, 2021
  4. David Emery said:
    “Some stories are just too good to check.”

    Clickbait journalism at work!

    2
    July 31, 2021
  5. Robert Stack said:
    Little known fact: Long before this alleged event Elon/Tesla faced another financial crisis – as did pretty much the entire globe in the aftermath of the US banking/mortgage crisis. This “problem” was solved when Tesla took out a $465 million loan from the US Dept of Energy in 2010. Tesla paid the loan back 9 years ahead of schedule – in 2013. Without this loan Tesla would likely have gone under, so it’s not an understatement to say that most of PED’s readership (the US citizens anyway) helped bail out Elon…

    0
    July 31, 2021
      • David Emery said:
        Wonder how the ‘savings’ are calculated. The carbon footprint for the production of batteries, including the raw materials, is pretty high.

        0
        July 31, 2021
    • Rodney Avilla said:
      Reminds me of an article from couple years ago from Bloomberg-

      “Apple’s 22-Year Tax Break Part of Billions in California Bounty (1)
      April 24, 2019

      Apple Inc. was on the brink of bankruptcy in 1997 when it cut a deal with the city of Cupertino, California.

      In exchange for keeping its headquarters in the Silicon Valley city, Apple would get half of Cupertino’s share of sales tax revenue generated by the company’s sales to businesses in California for at least five years.”

      0
      July 31, 2021
  6. Gregg Thurman said:
    I wish this story hadn’t been posted here. That’s time I’ll never get back.

    0
    July 31, 2021
    • Rodney Avilla said:
      Not sure why you blame PED for how you choose to spend your time.

      1
      July 31, 2021
  7. Rodney Avilla said:
    Apple Is “Just Obviously Overcharging With App Store”

    I know Musk has no awareness of obvious hypocrisy but I wonder if his public relations dept. wishes he would add a couple of filters. Case in point- the avg cost of a front windshield replacement is $210-230. Tesla charges $1100. Personal experience. I was told that Tesla simply won’t allow 3rd party repairs; there is no differences in the windshields.

    1
    July 31, 2021

Leave a Reply