Apple CEO Tim Prepare dinner shouldn’t be recognized for dropping his cool. He’s had stern phrases for Fb, and folks attempting to make a TV present based mostly on Gawker for Apple TV+, however typically talking? Prepare dinner comes off as a genial, if surprisingly swole, gent—your healthful tech grandpa. No less than, till you place him on the cellphone with Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
The story goes that in 2016, Tesla was in some dire monetary straits. Prepare dinner obtained on the cellphone with Musk and proposed that Apple purchase Tesla. An intrigued Musk laid down one situation—that he’s CEO. Prepare dinner agreed, considering he meant CEO of Tesla. After which Elon Musk, being Elon Musk, stated no, Prepare dinner didn’t perceive. He needed to be the CEO of Apple. It’s at that time that Prepare dinner reportedly stated, “Fuck you,” and hung up.
It’s a spicy meatball of a narrative and comes courtesy of an LA Times review of Power Play, a ebook by Wall Road Journal reporter Tim Higgins concerning the historical past of Tesla. It additionally contradicts a yarn Musk spun in late 2020. On the time, Musk tweeted, “Through the darkest days of the Mannequin three program, I reached out to Tim Prepare dinner to debate the opportunity of Apple buying Tesla (for 1/10 of our present worth). He refused to take the assembly.”
That alone would make for tantalizing tech CEO he-said, he-said. Nonetheless, the plot thickens. Ashlee Vance, Bloomberg journalist and writer of Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Improbable Future, tweeted that Musk had advised him “I’ve by no means met, spoken to and even had written correspondence with Tim Prepare dinner.” Musk additionally tweeted himself, saying “Prepare dinner & I’ve by no means spoken or written to one another ever” earlier than relaying the identical story he tweeted again in December. In a dig, Musk additionally tweeted that “Higgins managed to make his ebook each false *and* boring.”
Nonetheless, it does seem that each males had been current at a gathering with former President Donald Trump in New York in December 2016. Whether or not they spoke to one another at that assembly, solely a handful of individuals actually know.
In the meantime, Prepare dinner himself stated in a New York Times interview earlier this 12 months that he had “by no means spoken to Elon, though [he had] nice admiration and respect for the corporate he’s constructed.”
Amidst all this, Higgins also took to Twitter, writing that Musk and Apple had been given the possibility to touch upon the story and didn’t. “This anecdote comes from Musk’s personal account of the dialog, based on individuals who heard the retelling on the time,” Higgins wrote.
Clearly, any person someplace is mendacity about one thing—although frankly talking, the truth that this story is in any respect believable says loads about everybody concerned. Neither Prepare dinner nor Musk is more likely to stray from the official line, however it’s not unreasonable to suppose there could be some pressure between the 2 corporations. In latest months, rumors have ramped up that Apple remains to be working by itself electrical automotive. In 2015, the 2 corporations had been rumored to be in “poaching war”, a lot in order that Musk talked smack to a German newspaper. “Essential engineers? They’ve employed individuals we’ve fired,” Musk reportedly told Handelsblatt. “We at all times jokingly name Apple the ‘Tesla Graveyard.’ Should you don’t make it at Tesla, you go work at Apple. I’m not kidding.” Musk additionally took his justifiable share of potshots at Apple during an earnings call earlier this week and shortly after denying he’d ever met Prepare dinner, tweeted in support of Epic Games.
I dunno, Elon. You’re not precisely making it simple for everybody to imagine none of this occurred.