Recently, a story regarding Elon Musk demanding the position of Apple's CEO from Tim Cook has been making the rounds on the internet. The anecdote comes from The Wall Street Journal writer Tim Higgins' new book Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk, and the Bet of the Century.
Higgins describes a telephonic conversation between the two executives where Cook suggested the buyout of Tesla by Apple. In exchange, Musk asked to be CEO, to which Cook reportedly agreed, thinking that the Tesla executive wanted to remain the CEO of his company. However, Musk then disclosed that he actually wanted to be made the CEO of Apple, to which Cook replied "F*ck you" and hung up the phone. Higgins says that the story was told by a former aide who heard Musk retelling it.
When asked about the exchange on Twitter, the Tesla executive denied that it ever took place, saying that:
Higgins managed to make his book both false *and* boring.
[...] Cook & I have never spoken or written to each other ever. 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.
When The Verge asked Apple to comment on the matter, the company also referred to an old interview where Cook had stated that he has never spoken to Musk. Meanwhile, Higgins has defended his writing, saying that Apple and Elon Musk were given opportunities to comment on the book prior to its publication, but both declined.
And while it may be unrelated, in a rather odd piece of timing, Elon Musk has declared his support for Epic Games in the company's ongoing legal battle against Apple, saying that the latter's App Store fees are a "de facto global tax on the Internet".