Throwback to when Elon Musk considered selling Tesla to Apple  |  Photo Credit: BCCL
Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk, who is currently the richest man in the world had claimed in December ’20 that he once approached Apple’s chief executive, Tim Cook, to suggest the iPhone maker acquire his then-struggling electric car company – but that Cook “refused to take the meeting”.
Musk has revealed that he had approached Apple to explore a meeting on a possible acquisition of Tesla when the carmaker was at one-tenth of its (then) current valuation, before Tim Cook blew off the meeting.
Musk said he sought out the meeting during the darkest days of the Model 3 program, a reference to Tesla’s first electric car designed for the mass market.
As recently as 2018, Tesla was struggling to meet its vehicle production goals and turn a profit.
Musk told employees then at the company’s Fremont, California, plant that it faced a period of “production hell” for six months or longer. Weeks after making that statement, he tweeted about sleeping on the roof of the factory as he tried to resolve bottlenecks.
This happened around the same time Apple decided to shift from the development of a full-fledged Tesla competitor to an underlying self-driving car system. In recent years, Apple has hired a number of ex-Tesla executives who specialize in the drive train, car interior, and self-driving technology. It has also acquired companies that specialize in self-driving car development, indicating that the company is once again considering entering the market.
Tesla and Apple have always competed for talent in and beyond Silicon Valley.
Tesla’s fortunes have changed since then. The automaker is finally making money on a consistent basis after years of losses and continues to hit milestones for deliveries of its vehicles.
In 2018, Musk did publicly say the car business was “hell,” and that he was sleeping at the factory to try to solve the problems the company was having as it tried to start mass-manufacturing its Model 3 electric sedans.
Currently, Musk’s net worth is $203 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Jeff Bezos is at the second position with a net worth of $195 billion
The past year has been exceptional for Musk as his net worth jumped by $150 billion, which was possibly the fastest bout of wealth creation in history. Musk added $17.36 million (or nearly Rs 127 crore) every hour to his wealth over the last year on the back of more 743% rally in Tesla stocks. Last year, Tesla shares witnessed an unprecedented rally due to a consistent increase in profit and inclusion in the S&P 500 index.
In the post-market trade, Tesla shares were hovering at an all-time high level of $852 per share. Analysts say Musk may become the first trillionaire on the plannet as Tesla shares are poised for further rally.
At present, the 49-year entrepreneur holds a 20% stake in Tesla. In addition to this, he also holds vested stock options of the company that was given to him in 2012 and 2018, with the later being the largest pay deals ever struck between a CEO and a company board.