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Tim Cook supposedly told Elon Musk ‘f*ck you’ after demanding to be CEO

A new book shares some juicy details about the relationship between Elon Musk and Tim Cook. Details revealed in Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk and the Bet of the Century, a book by Wall Street Journal reporter Tim Higgins recount a heated conversation in which Musk demanded to become CEO of Apple.

Back in 2016, Tesla was in a tough place financially, with the launch of the Tesla Model 3 on the horizon. The book alleges that Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, approached Musk about acquiring the electric vehicle company to help with its financial struggles.

Musk replied to the offer with only one condition: “I’m CEO.” At first, Cook was perfectly fine with the idea. The head of Apple seemed content with keeping Tesla’s leader on board as CEO. But Musk wasn’t talking about Tesla. He wanted to become the CEO of Apple.

According to Higgins’ revelation in his book, Cook replied with a quick “Fuck you,” and hung up the phone. And so ended any chance for Apple to acquire Tesla at that time.

As it turns out, Tesla didn’t really need Apple’s help, ultimately succeeding in the Model 3 launch and Musk himself holding a brief spot as the richest man in the world.

Update 7/30/2021 4:00 PM ET: Both Apple and Elon Musk have come out to say that not only did this not happen, but that Cook and Musk have never spoken.

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