As if Elon Musk didn’t run enough companies, he may once have suggested ousting Tim Cook and taking over as CEO of America’s most valuable company, Apple.
Five years ago, in the midst of production delays and other problems plaguing the planned Tesla Model 3 launch, Musk is said to have had a phone call with Tim Cook during which Apple’s CEO allegedly proposed to buy Tesla.
Musk said he would, but on one condition: “I’ll be the CEO.” It reportedly took Cook a moment to realize that Musk at Apple it meant losing his job.
This according to a Los Angeles Times review of “Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk and the Bet of the Century”, an upcoming book by Wall Street Journal reporter Tim Higgins, covering information on Apple, Tesla, and other tech companies. The review, posted on Friday, reportedly adds that Cook replied to Musk with a curse and hung up the phone.
Musk and Cook denied ever talking to each other
In December, Musk revealed on Twitter that he considered selling Tesla to Apple, but said he never spoke to Cook. Responding to a report on Apple’s plans to release a battery-powered car for the mass market, Musk said he contacted Cook during the “Darkest days of the Model 3 program” for the acquisition of Tesla “For 1/10 of our current value.”
“He refused to attend the meeting”, Musk said. Musk he also denied that the interaction described in the book ever happened, in a tweet on Friday, following the publication of the book review.
“Cook and I have never spoken or written to each other,” Musk said, adding that he had once requested a meeting with Cook to discuss Apple’s purchase of Tesla, but that never happened and “there is no were conditions of acquisition proposals, of any kind “
Higgins, the author, responded to Musk’s Friday tweet saying that the founder of Tesla was given “many opportunities” to comment on the anecdote.
“This anecdote comes from Musk’s account of the conversation, according to people who heard the story of the episode at the time.”, tweeted Higgins.
When asked about the book’s claims, Apple directed the American press to an interview Cook did in April with journalist Kara Swisher, who asked about Musk saying he declined a meeting. “You know“, Cook replied, “I’ve never talked to Elon, even though I have great admiration and respect for the company he built”.
Musk and Cook were photographed sitting next to each other, with only Oracle CEO Safra Catz between them, in a meeting with former President Donald Trump in December 2016. It is not clear whether the two have spoken.