Bill Gates says Elon Musk was 'super mean' to him after finding out he shorted Tesla
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Bill Gates has claimed Elon Musk was ‘super mean’ to him after finding out he shorted Tesla - the latest bizarre move in the battle of the billionaires.
A synopsis says: “From the author of Steve Jobs and other bestselling biographies, this is the astonishingly intimate story of the most fascinating and controversial innovator of our era - a rule-breaking visionary who helped to lead the world into the era of electric vehicles, private space exploration, and artificial intelligence. Oh, and took over Twitter.”
Its listing on Amazon, where it is available to buy now after being published today (12 September), says Isaacson shadowed Musk for two years, attending his meetings, walking his factories and spending ‘hours interviewing him, his family, friends, coworkers, and adversaries’.
"The result is the revealing inside story, filled with amazing tales of triumphs and turmoil, that addresses the question: are the demons that drive Musk also what it takes to drive innovation and progress?” it adds.
Those interviewed include singer Grimes (aka Claire Boucher), with whom the SpaceX tycoon shares three kids, who revealed Musk snapped a photo of her as she was having a c-section and sent it round their friends and family.
"He was just clueless about why I'd be upset," Grimes told Isaacson.
But it wasn’t just those among Musk’s inner circle that the biographer spoke to.
He also turned to some of his rivals - including Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
Back in April 2022, Musk said he refused a philanthropy request from Gates over the stock shorting incident, as revealed by screenshots of a text exchange between the pair.
Musk asked Gates if he still had a ‘half billion dollar short position against Tesla’, to which his rival replied: "Sorry to say I haven’t closed it yet […] I would like to discuss philanthropy possibilities."
Musk says he couldn’t take Gates’ climate change philanthropy ‘seriously’ when he has a ‘massive short position against Tesla, the company doing the most to solve climate change’.
When someone asked if the screenshot was real, Musk replied: “Yeah, but I didn’t leak it to NYT. They must have got it through friends of friends. I heard from multiple people at TED that Gates still had half billion short against Tesla, which is why I asked him, so it’s not exactly top secret."
Speaking about the exchange to Isaacson, who has been writing the biography for the past three years, Gates said: "Once he heard I'd shorted the stock, he was super mean to me, but he's super mean to so many people, so you can't take it too personally.”
The multi-billionaire claimed he had apologised to Musk about what happened, but said their relationship never got better.
Isaacson’s book (aptly titled Elon Musk) follows the Tesla CEO’s life and career, right from his childhood growing up in South Africa, right through to his obsession with populating Mars - something Gates finds ‘bizarre’.
“I’m not a Mars person,” Gates explained.
“He’s overboard on Mars. I let him explain his Mars thinking to me, which is kind of bizarre thinking. It’s this crazy thing where maybe there’s a nuclear war on Earth and so the people on Mars are there and they’ll come back down and, you know, be alive after we all kill each other.”
UNILAD has reached out to Elon Musk and Tesla for comment.