Tesla and Apple are in some ways similar, but the two men who may be most closely associated with the two companies (Elon Musk and Steve Jobs) have apparently butted heads in the past. Recently Tesla CEO Musk said he met Jobs just once, and, “He was kind of a jerk” then.
Tesla CEO too outspoken
Musk made this remark when asked to comment on Apple’s former CEO by GQ magazine. Musk was about to say more, but then he stopped himself, and asked to “withdraw” his comments, saying it was a “personal experience.” The Tesla CEO further told GQ that Google’s Larry Page introduced him to meet Jobs at a party long ago, and Jobs was not aware of who he was.
Musk told GQ, “The last thing I need is to generate animosity, you know.”
At the end of last week, Bruce Greenwald, the founding director of the Heilbrunn Center for Graham and Dodd Investing at Columbia Business School, sat down for a Fireside Chat with Li Lu, the founder and chairman of Himalaya Capital as part of the 13th Columbia China Business Conference. The chat spanned many different topics, Read More
Musk was asked if the manner in which Job’s legacy is being fought over ever makes him reflect on how he is thought of or how he will be in the future. To this, Musk said “actions” are the only things that matter and not what people think of him in the future.
“I’ll be long dead. But the actions that I take, will they have been useful?” Musk said.
Not the first time
Musk criticized Jobs earlier as well. Last month, Musk gave an interview to German newspaper Handelsblatt. The resulting article included an exchange relating to Apple’s rumored move into electric cars. Musk said he is not at all worried about competition from Apple’s electric car project, Project Titan. The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple plans to ship its first vehicle in 2019.
When asked about Apple poaching talent from Tesla, Musk said Apple is a “Tesla graveyard” because it is full of all employees who had worked for Tesla in the past but had been fired because they could not perform well. In the last few months, Apple has hired a number of engineers with a background in automotive and battery design, including a senior engineer from Tesla.
And not just this, as Musk even mocked the Apple Watch and the company’s ambitions at creating an electric car as well.
“No, seriously. It’s good that Apple is moving and investing in this direction. But cars are very complex compared to phones or smart watches. You can’t just go to a supplier like Foxconn and say ‘build me a car,’” Musk said.