HomeBusinessInvestingElon Musk: Tim Cook’s Refusal To Meet Cost Apple $640 Billion

Elon Musk: Tim Cook’s Refusal To Meet Cost Apple $640 Billion

Apple is a multi-trillion-dollar company, currently worth over $2.4 trillion. But it could be worth more than $3 trillion, if Apple CEO Tim Cook had decided to accept a meeting invite from Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

A new book has come out alleging that Apple and Tesla held acquisition talks which were scuttled by Elon Musk’s demand to be made CEO of the combined company. Elon Musk publicly denied this on Twitter today, but did add something interesting: Cook refused to meet with him.

“Cook and I have never spoken or written to each other ever,” Musk wrote. “There was a point where I requested to meet with Cook to talk about Apple buying Tesla. There were no conditions of acquisition proposed whatsoever.”

“He refused to meet. Tesla was worth about 6% of today’s value.”

Today Tesla is worth $680 billion, according to Yahoo Finance. That’s down from a recent high of almost $900 billion, but it’s still up from around the $40 billion level in 2016, when Tesla was still struggling to scale and deliver cars efficiently.

Calculate the difference, and it’s around $640 billion, which Elon Musk is making perfectly plain and obvious in his gentle but pointed tweet about Cook’s refusal to meet.

To add salt to the wound, Apple has gone on to stumble in its own automobile ambitions, with the Apple unit tasked with building a self-driving car starting and stopping, losing staff, getting scaled down, being rebooted, and generally not producing anything public and obvious despite years of investment.

There are plenty of reasons for the CEO of a massive company at the height of its ascendance to not meet the CEO of a struggling company. Time is limited. Focus is important. And there’s no guarantee that a meeting would have resulted in an acquisition, or that an acquisition would have been successful. Many are not, and Musk would certainly have clashed with any boss put in charge of his division. Apple may not have had the vision, appetite for risk, and brilliant execution skills that Musk has shown in the past decade either.

So everything about what a Tesla-Apple tie-up would have achieved is simply speculation.

But, on the face of it nevertheless, Apple clearly missed a massive opportunity. And Tesla recovered from the deathwatch short-seller days and has become one of the most important and valuable companies on the planet.

I wonder if Cook wishes he might have made a different decision.

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