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TECH NEWS: Elon Musk: “I don’t want to be the CEO of anything,”

A new book about the Tesla CEO, Elon Musk is about to be released. One story tells that in 2016, when Tesla was in trouble- he contacted his Apple peer, Tim Cook, to see if he would want to buy his company. The anecdote adds that Musk insisted that, as part of the deal, he should be elected CEO of Apple, and Tim Cook would have sent him to you-know-where.

 

Without a press office with which to check the veracity of the story, I (James Clayton BBC
North America technology reporter) asked Musk on Twitter if it was true.He replied that he had never met or exchanged messages with Cook.

“There was a time when I asked to meet with Cook to discuss the possibility of Apple acquiring Tesla. There were absolutely no conditions proposed for that purchase. He refused to meet with me. Tesla at that time was worth 6% of what it is worth today.”

But a particular revelation came in the retweets, when someone suggested that Musk would be a great boss for Apple, and he replied: “I don’t want to be CEO of anything”. He had said something similar last month when he had to appear in court. Talking about what it’s like to be a director of Tesla, he said: “I hate it quite a lot, I’d much rather spend my time on design and engineering”. He also added the reason why he remains at the helm of the company: “I have to do it or, frankly, Tesla will die”.

The fact that he repeatedly says he doesn’t want to run the company may worry some investors. Love him or hate him, Musk has a vision and a personality that have led Tesla to its current success. By far, Tesla is the most valuable car company in the world. And yet it’s amazing how running this company is not enough for Musk.

He is also the head of Space X, which in April received a contract from NASA to take people to the moon. He also founded The Boring Company in 2016, which seeks to revolutionise travel through advances in tunneling technology.

Musk gives the impression of being a trapped man. He is clearly motivated by ideas, innovation, ingenuity; the exciting start of a new company. But the transition from this new venture to a giant business puts him in another position.

The creator of Apple, Steve Jobs; the inventors of Google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin; and the man behind Microsoft, Bill Gates were all visionaries. The current CEOs of those companies – Apple’s Tim Cook, Google’s Sundar Pichai and Microsoft’s Staya Nadella – are more than capable leaders. But few would describe them as revolutionaries.

Elon Musk, on the other hand, projects the image of a fearless entrepreneur. But one gets the impression that the administrative process of running a company, in general, does not motivate him. Parallel to his successful growth, the Tesla boss has caused all sorts of headaches for the company’s shareholders. He is currently being sued by shareholders who say the company’s money has been spent on acquiring the SolarCity project which – they claim – is running out of funds. At the time of that deal, Musk held 22% of the shares in both Tesla and SolarCity.

In 2018 he agreed to step aside as Tesla’s chairman after tweeting that he was considering delisting the company from the stock market and turning it into a private company. 

Elon Musk may be the second richest person on the planet but, strangely, he doesn’t feel the freedom to do what he wants. He is living proof that you are never rich enough not to be in a job you don’t like…

Source: BBC News 

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