Elon Musk’s New Biography Details ‘Feud’ With Bill Gates

A long-winded feud between billionaires Elon Musk and Bill Gates has been detailed in a new biography by Walter Isaacson titled “Elon Musk.” 

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According to Walter Isaacson’s new autobiography “Elon Musk,” Bill Gates went to visit Musk in 2022 with the intention of convincing him to give away more of his money the way that Gates has through a multitude of philanthropic endeavors. 

CNN reported on the details of this autobiography, which came out this week, detailing the “unusual relationship between Musk and Gates.” According to the book, Gates texted Musk in 2022: “Hey, I’d love to come see you and talk about philanthropy and climate.” At the time, Musk had started a $5.7 billion charitable fund that Isaacsom wrote was mainly for tax reasons, which Gates wanted to influence.

Isaacson wrote that Musk told Gates to call him directly because Musk doesn’t use assistants or schedulers. Gates then flew to Austin, Texas on March 9th 2022 to visit the Tesla Gigafactory.

“Just landed,” Gates texted. “Cool,” Musk replied. 

Isaacson continues to write that Gates challenged whether or not batteries could power large semi trucks and whether or not solar energy could contribute to helping combat climate change. According to CNN’s report:  “Gates said Musk was too ‘overboard on Mars,’ which Gates found ‘bizarre thinking’ about saving humanity by moving some humans to Mars if there is a nuclear war on planet earth.”

Gates then began to change the conversation to discuss philanthropy, as Gates and his ex-wife Melinda founded one of the largest private foundations in the world: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. 

Back in 2021, Musk got in a public altercation with the UN program chief after he challenged the common assertion that donating $6 billion of Musk’s stock could end world hunger. This is just one example of the criticism Musk has been faced with regarding his lack of charitable giving, despite being the richest man in the world. Musk told Gated the following regarding philanthropy and climate change:

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“Most philanthropy was bull…[Gates could] do more good for climate change by investing in Tesla.”

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According to reports of a ranking of the Chronicle of Philanthropy, “Musk gave 11.5 million shares of his Tesla stake to an undisclosed charity last year, shares worth about $1.9 billion at the time they were donated. The donation would make him the second-largest charitable donor in 2022.”

Gates was the number one largest charitable donor with $5.1 billion in donations made. 

Musk told Isaacson he felt “Gates was hypocritical to fight against climate change while trying to make money on the failure of a sustainable energy car company.

Gates also admitted to Musk that he was holding a short bet against Tesla, to which  Musk texted back: “Sorry… I cannot take your philanthropy on climate seriously.”

“At this point, I am convinced he is categorically insane (and an a–hole to the core). I did actually want to like him (sigh),” Musk texted Isaacson after the exchange with Gates.