As indicated by a forthcoming book about Tesla, Tesla CEO Elon Musk requested to turn into Apple’s CEO in a 2016 call with current Apple CEO Tim Cook. The story, shared by the Los Angeles Times, comes from Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk, and the Bet of the Century by The Wall Street Journal reporter Tim Higgins.
As the book tells it, Cook suggested to Musk that Apple acquire Tesla, and Musk said he wanted to be CEO. Cook reportedly agreed, but Musk clarified that he wanted to be the CEO of Apple. “According to a former aide who heard (Musk’s) retelling of the exchange,” Cook said “Fuck you” before hanging up the phone.
In any case, Musk and Apple have both recommended that the discussion couldn’t have happened on the grounds that Musk and Cook have never spoken.
In a tweet on Friday, Musk flat out said that “Cook & I have never spoken or written to each other ever.” He also said that he attempted to meet with Cook about Apple acquiring Tesla, which Cook refused.
When asked for comment about the reported conversation, Apple pointed to Cook’s remarks during an interview with The New York Times’ Kara Swisher. He denied having ever spoken to Elon. “You know, I’ve never spoken to Elon, although I have great admiration and respect for the company he’s built,” Cook said.