A new book claims Elon Musk requested to be named Apple’s CEO during deliberations about a prospective Tesla acquisition.
According to a Los Angeles Times review, the alleged 2016 conversation is one of the secrets disclosed in the upcoming book Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk, and the Bet of the Century by Tim Higgins, a reporter for The Washington Post.
According to the book, Apple CEO Tim Cook called Musk to suggest buying the electric manufacturer, which was going through a hard time ahead of the Model 3’s presentation.
Musk expressed interest in the proposal, but in exchange for something, telling Cook: “I’m CEO.”
Cook mistook Musk’s statement for him wanting to stay on as CEO of Tesla after the merger, and he stated that he was not opposed to the concept.
According to the new book, when Musk reiterated that he prepared to take Cook’s job as Apple CEO, Cook said, “F*** you,” and hung up the phone.
Apple maintains that the conversation never occurred, claiming that Cook has never spoken to Musk.
Musk did not appear to be involved in the writing of the book. Higgins said Musk declined to respond when asked, except to tell the author, ‘Most, but not all, of what you read in this book is nonsense.’
In one instance, a production line worker at Tesla’s Fremont, California factory told Musk that he’d discovered how to solve a car window’s screeching sound by cutting the seal.
Musk allegedly became furious and demanded to know why John Ensign, the manufacturing executive who was present, hadn’t come up with the answer.
“This is unacceptable that you had a person working in your factory that knows the solution, and you don’t even know that!” Musk reportedly stated, according to the report.
Musk reportedly fired Ensign, who had been aware of the proposed remedy but didn’t want to shame the production worker by admitting that engineers had already tried it and found it to be ineffective long-term.
The LA Times review further suggests that the book focuses more on Tesla’s past than on Musk’s personal life, showcasing the accomplishments of lesser-known employees, many of whom left following disagreements with Musk.
Tesla revealed earlier this week that its quarterly earnings had topped $1 billion for the first time, putting the company’s valuation at $680 billion.
The fiscal achievement unveiled on Monday extended Tesla’s two-year run of success, which quelled some talk about the company’s long-term survival that arose during its initial years of disappointment and manufacturing issues.