The origin of Elon Musk’s feud with Bill Gates, according to Musk’s new biography

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Invoice Gates went to see Elon Musk in 2022, hoping to persuade the guy billionaire to provide away extra of his cash – the way in which the Microsoft founder had.

The assembly went sideways, in accordance with Walter Isaacson’s new biography, “Elon Musk,” which hits shops Tuesday. CNN obtained an early copy of the guide, which reveals a few of the rarified world of America’s billionaire class, together with particulars of the weird relationship between Musk and Gates. Musk is the present wealthiest man on the earth and Gates had topped the record earlier than he started steadily giving it away in his philanthropic efforts.

“Hey, I’d love to return see you and discuss philanthropy and local weather,” Gates texted Musk in 2022, Isaacson wrote. Musk had began a $5.7 billion charitable fund on the time — principally for tax causes, in accordance with Isaacson — and Gates needed to affect Musk’s method to philanthropy

Musk informed Gates to name him straight as a result of Musk didn’t use schedulers and assistants, Isaacson wrote. Gates flew to Austin, Texas, on March 9, 2022, to go to the 10-million-square-foot Tesla Gigafactory.

“Simply landed,” Gates texted.

“Cool,” Musk replied.

Isaacson spoke to each males and different sources to element the dialog between the 2 males, noting that Gates challenged whether or not batteries may energy massive semi vehicles and whether or not photo voltaic vitality could be a part of fixing the local weather downside. Gates mentioned Musk was too “overboard on Mars,” which Gates discovered “weird considering” about saving humanity by shifting some people to Mars if there’s a nuclear battle on planet earth.

Because the manufacturing unit tour neared an finish, Gates turned the dialog towards philanthropy. Gates and his ex-wife, Melinda, had based one of many largest personal foundations on the earth, the Invoice and Melinda Gates Basis, and influenced different billionaires resembling Warren Buffett and Mark Zuckerberg to provide most of their fortunes towards humanitarian causes throughout their lifetimes. The motion they began known as “The Giving Pledge has gained dozens of different ultrawealthy individuals.

Musk has been criticized for his lack of charitable giving over the previous decade. He obtained right into a public spat with the UN meals program chief in 2021, difficult the assertion that donating $6 billion of his inventory may finish world starvation.

Nonetheless, Musk gave 11.5 million shares of his Tesla stake to an undisclosed charity final yr, shares value about $1.9 billion on the time they had been donated. The donation would make him the second-largest charitable donor in 2022, in accordance with a rating of the Chronicle of Philanthropy, which was compiled earlier than Musk’s donation. The Chronicle’s rating lists Gates as No. 1 with $5.1 billion in donations, adopted by Michael Bloomberg at $1.7 billion.

“Most philanthropy was “bulls—,” Musk informed Gates, estimating solely 20 cents of every greenback made a distinction that method. Gates may “do extra good for local weather change by investing in Tesla,” Musk mentioned, in accordance with Isaacson.

Musk then questioned Gates on why he had positioned a wager towards Tesla’s inventory, referred to as a “quick,” in hopes the share worth would drop. Musk despised individuals who wager towards his firm, seeing them as mortal enemies. At the moment, Gates had misplaced $1.5 billion betting towards the inventory. Gates mentioned he apologized and mentioned he shorted the inventory as a result of he thought he may earn a living doing so.

Musk informed Isaacson he felt Gates was hypocritical to combat towards local weather change whereas making an attempt to earn a living on the failure of a sustainable vitality automobile firm.

When Gates despatched documentation about his philanthropic work and adopted up with a textual content to Musk, Musk requested if he was nonetheless holding a brief wager towards Tesla. Gates admitted he was.

Musk texted again: “Sorry… I can not take your philanthropy on local weather critically.”

Musk then famously tweeted a photograph of Gates in a golf shirt with a bulging stomach that made him look pregnant and mocked his look.

“At this level, I’m satisfied he’s categorically insane (and an a–gap to the core),” Musk texted Isaacson after the trade with Gates. “I did truly need to like him (sigh).”

Gates was extra gracious afterward. When folks criticized Musk at a dinner in Washington, DC, Gates mentioned, “there is no such thing as a one in our time who has completed extra to push bounds of science and innovation.”

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