Elon Musk Says He Never Asked to Be CEO of Apple. That Would Be the End of Apple


In a Los Angeles Times review of a new book about Tesla, there’s a story that Elon Musk and Tim Cook reportedly once met to talk about whether Apple should buy the electric vehicle (EV) maker. The conversation apparently happened at one of Tesla’s low points, the launch of the Model 3, which Musk says almost bankrupted the company. 

It’s worth noting that Musk has previously said that he was very much interested in having such a conversation, but Cook wouldn’t take the call. That differs from the Times report, which says the pair discussed the idea and that Musk told Cook he wanted to be CEO–of Apple. Cook, according to the story, hung up on Musk after expressing his thoughts with words I can’t use here. 

Apple has denied the story. 

The book bases the story on a secondhand source, apparently an employee that overheard the conversation. The point is that there’s a lot of room there for dramatic interpretation, especially since all parties deny such a conversation ever happened at all.

Whether Apple ever considered buying Tesla (I doubt it) or even had such a conversation, Elon Musk isn’t the person anyone should want designing iPhones and Macs. More importantly, he’s not the person who should be running Apple. That would be terrible for Apple.

I’m not suggesting that Musk isn’t one of the most accomplished entrepreneurs of his generation. The thing is, Apple isn’t a startup. It’s the world’s most valuable company, and it generated almost as much profit in the first quarter this year as Tesla’s entire annual revenue last year. 

Musk is clearly gifted at championing big ideas, even if they never actually come to fruition (self-driving cars, for example). To his credit, he’s also much more of a product guy than Cook. 

Apple’s current CEO reportedly doesn’t spend a lot of time designing products, especially in comparison to his predecessor, Steve Jobs, who was famously involved in the smallest details of everything Apple made. There are certainly some that would see Musk as more of a visionary leader more in the mold of Jobs. 

Certainly, you could make the argument that Apple could use a little more Jobs, especially if you’re in the camp that its products are starting to get a…

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