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Elon Musk wanted to be Apple CEO, book claims

A new book claims that Tesla CEO Elon Musk asked Apple CEO to make him the next CEO, when Apple allegedly wanted to acquire Tesla in 2016. A claim that Musk has already denied.

The story goes that in 2016, as Tesla was struggling financially, Apple CEO called Musk to propose acquisition of Tesla. An intrigued Musk expressed his interest in the potential deal but with one condition, he wanted to replace Cook as Apple CEO. Cook refused, reportedly saying the F word, and hung up.

An upcoming book about Tesla "Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk, and the Bet of the Century" by Tim Higgins has already generated heated controversy on the web with comments from Tesla CEO himself, who claims that much of the book is false. “Higgins managed to make his book both false *and* boring

Musk even tried to pour cold water on the story while it was being written, calling it “nonsense,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

Shortly after tweeting that he has never met Cook, Musk tweeted a strange meme directed at Apple, shortly after he deleted it.

Elon Musk wanted to be Apple CEO, book claimsPhoto: Twitter

This is not the first time this week Musk has lashed out at Apple.

An Apple spokesman had no immediate comment.

The book review begins with a wild phone conversation in 2016 between Musk and Apple CEO Tim Cook, suggesting Musk said on a phone call that he wanted the CEO-of-Apple title. The conversation was reportedly devoted to the possible merger of Tesla and Apple. Musk seemed to agree to accept the alleged deal, but only on one condition – he would be CEO.

Los Angeles Times:

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.

Be that as it may, most likely this story is not true. Back in December 2020, Elon Musk tweeted that there could have been negotiations, but Tim Cook refused them.

Neither Tim Cook nor Apple have given official comments on this. However, according to Mark Gurman, Tim Cook stated that he never spoke to Elon Musk.

This statement, if it took place, of course, is rather hard to believe. At least for now.

Nevertheless, “Power Play” spurred the attention of many people and made it to Amazon’s list of its 10 highest-selling books on Saturday, leaving us with two versions of the same story. Musk and Cook are all part of the same story, memories shared serve each differently.

Talking about the share, at first Tesla stock jumped over 2% on this colorful anecdote story of potential merger

but then Tesla lost early morning gains towards the end of trading session

A reviewer himself defends the author of the book:

«When Higgins writes about facts and situations I’m familiar with, I can attest he’s right on the button, every time. If there’s any nonsense in “Power Play,” Higgins isn’t the source of it»

"Power Play" will be released on August 3.

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