In a world where billionaires are often shrouded in enigmas and public relations, a fascinating drama unfolded—the high-stakes, high-ego rivalry between Elon Musk and Bill Gates.
Microsoft co-founder Gates found himself at the receiving end of the Tesla CEO’s fury, as detailed in the upcoming biography, “Elon Musk” by Walter Isaacson, NYPost Reported.
“He was super mean to me,” Gates told Isaacson, revealing that Musk had taken umbrage upon learning Gates had shorted Tesla’s stocks. Musk’s stark response to Gates’ philanthropy request confirmed Gates’ allegations.
Isaacson’s account offers a glimpse into an intriguing incident that occurred in 2022. Once Musk’s philanthropic leanings started gaining momentum, Gates flew over to the Texas Tesla Gigafactory to inspire Musk to dig deeper into his pockets. And the series of events that followed made up quite a compelling twist.
Using Musk’s disinterest in middlemen, Gates decided to contact him directly. Despite the unconventional approach, Gates received a cool response from Musk, setting a rather tense tone for the onset of their meeting. The heavyweights began to clash over subjects like climate change and the feasibility of solar energy and battery power.
However, the tipping point arrived when philanthropy made it to the table of discussion. Gates, who has been influencing industry giants to pledge their fortunes to humanity, found Musk’s commitment to philanthropy to be inadequate. Musk’s point of view starkly differed—he perceived it as a mere facade and expressed that strategic investments could potentially facilitate more change.
This argument escalated rapidly when the subject of Gate’s short position on Tesla’s stock surfaced. Musk couldn’t overlook Gates’ dual actions – betting against a sustainable energy company while pretending to be a crusader against climate change.
Gates confessed his primary motive for shorting Tesla’s stock—it was all about the money. This further annoyed Musk, believing it not only jeopardized Tesla’s existence but also impacted everyday investors. “Sorry… I cannot take your philanthropy on climate seriously,” texted Musk to Gates, which pretty much summed up his feelings against his fellow billionaire’s philanthropy.
Musk recently publicized his view of Gates, calling him a hypocrite.
Just so that the public understands:
Taking out a short position against Tesla, as Gates did, results in the highest return only if a company goes bankrupt!
Gates placed a massive bet on Tesla dying when our company was at one of its weakest moments several years ago. Such a…
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 11, 2023
These revelations pave the way for a broader discourse—an analysis of philanthropic motives and means amidst the towering billionaires directed by a mix of business interests, ego tussles, and genuine intent to change the world. One thing is, however, clear between these two billionaires that the gloves are definitely off.