Elon Musk Never Demanded That He Be Made Apple CEO After Merger

The downside to writing a book about someone’s life or achievements when the person is still alive is the possibility that the subject might contest your version of events. This is what Elon Musk is doing right now to author Tim Higgins.
Elon Musk denies story that he wanted to be made Apple CEO, finds it amusing but "boring" 7 photos
Photo: YouTube / SNL
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Higgins, a Wall Street Journal reporter, has a new book coming out, called Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk, and the Bet of the Century. It’s been reviewed by the Los Angeles Times, which is how one particular anecdote involving a planned Apple merger got out in the media. The fact that, at its lowest, Musk considered selling Tesla to Apple is not a secret: Musk himself confirmed it a while back, saying he called Tim Cook in 2013 to discuss the possibility, but Cook wouldn’t pick up the phone.

There’s more to that story, Higgins writes in the book. In 2016, Musk and Cook were talking seriously about an Apple merger, but all came to an end when Musk named his condition for the deal to go through. He would be made Apple CEO in Cook’s place. Cook’s response to that, according to the book, was “F**k you” and a slammed phone. *Cue dramatic music.

This isn’t just false but downright “boring,” Musk says on Twitter. Yes, the scene plays out like a movie cliché, but it’s not true: Musk and Cook never met and never spoke, the Tesla CEO says, setting the record straight. There were talks of a possible merger, back when Tesla’s worth was 6% of what it is now, but they never amounted to much because Cook wouldn’t speak to Musk.

According to Bloomberg, Apple has also issued a denial of the new story, referring to a recent comment from Cook in which he clearly states never having spoken to Musk.

This would sound like Higgins is lying or, at best, dramatizing real events to get more attention – like those “based on a true story” movies do, if you’re down for the comparison. Perhaps anticipating denials from directly involved parties, Higgins included separate notes in the book saying that both Musk and Apple refused to comment on events described within. Musk only said that “Most, but not all, of what you read in this book is nonsense,” but he never got into specifics.

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Editor's note: Gallery shows Tesla CEO Elon Musk leaning into his celebrity persona, on an appearance on SNL.

About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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