'I'm CEO.' New Book Outlines Merger Conversations Between Elon Musk and Tim Cook

July 30, 2021 1:55 PM EDT

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An upcoming book titled “Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk and the Bet of the Century,” written by Wall Street Journal reporter Tim Higgins, summarizes an interesting conversation between Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) CEO Tim Cook and Tesla's (NASDAQ: TSLA) Musk.

According to a review in the Los Angeles Times, the 2016 conversation outlines a proposal by Cook to acquire Tesla. The electric car company was struggling ahead of the unveiling of the Model 3. Cook called Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk, who had reportedly expressed interest in the idea. However, Musk allegedly had one condition; he told Cook: “I’m CEO.”

Assuming Musk meant he wanted to remain CEO of Tesla, Cook agreed. The review alleges that Musk meant he wanted to be CEO of Apple. When Musk clarified this position, it’s said that Cook responded “F*** you” before hanging up.

Musk responded to the review on Twitter, stating “Higgins managed to make his book both false *and* boring,” claiming “Cook & I have never spoken or written to each other ever. There was a point where I requested to meet with Cook to talk about Apple buying Tesla. There were no conditions of acquisition proposed whatsoever. He refused to meet. Tesla was worth about 6% of today’s value.”

Musk apparently did not participate in the creation of “Power Play.” In the author’s note, Higgins writes that Musk “was given numerous opportunities to comment on the stories, facts, and characterizations presented in these pages. Without pointing to any specific inaccuracies, he offered simply this: ‘Most, but not all, of what you read in this book is nonsense.’"

By Michael Elkins | Michael.Elkins@streetinsider.com

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