Tesla CEO Elon Musk ratcheted up his feud with Bill Gates after excerpts from Walter Isaacson’s upcoming biography on Musk revealed more details about their falling out over Gates’ Tesla short position, Clash of the Tech Titans: How Elon Musk and Bill Gates’ Visions Diverge.
In the book, Gates admits that Musk became “super mean” to him after learning Gates had taken a massive short position against Tesla stock. “You can’t take it too personally,” Gates told Isaacson.
Musk previously published texts showing he rebuffed Gates’ philanthropy outreach due to the half-billion dollar Tesla short, which Musk felt undermined Tesla’s mission. “I cannot take your climate change philanthropy seriously when you have a massive short position against Tesla, the company doing the most to solve climate change,” Musk told Gates.
After Gates confirmed he still hadn’t closed the short position, Musk ramped up attacks, accusing Gates of betting on and aiming to profit from Tesla’s failure.
In a new reposted from X, Musk skewered the “hypocrisy” of Gates critiquing his meanness while scheming for Tesla’s demise. Musk also slammed short-sellers for driving down Tesla’s stock and hurting everyday investors.
The heated exchange provides a window into the ongoing bad blood between two of the world’s most prominent billionaires. While both espouse environmental goals, their radically different approaches have bred distrust.
Gates stands by his skeptical valuation of Tesla, while Musk sees short-sellers as actively undermining Tesla’s mission. The spat reveals core differences that continue fueling tensions between the tech titans.