Invoice Gates went to see Elon Musk in 2022, hoping to persuade the man billionaire to offer away extra of his cash – the best way the Microsoft founder had.
The assembly went sideways, in keeping with Walter Isaacson’s new biography, “Elon Musk,” which hits shops Tuesday. CNN obtained an early copy of the ebook, which reveals among 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 checklist earlier than he started steadily giving it away in his philanthropic efforts.
“Hey, I’d love to come back see you and speak about 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 keeping with Isaacson — and Gates needed to affect Musk’s strategy to philanthropy
Musk advised Gates to name him instantly 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 might energy giant semi vehicles and whether or not photo voltaic power could be a part of fixing the local weather downside. Gates stated Musk was too “overboard on Mars,” which Gates discovered “weird pondering” about saving humanity by transferring 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 offer most of their fortunes towards humanitarian causes throughout their lifetimes. The motion they began referred to as “The Giving Pledge has gained dozens of different ultrawealthy contributors.
Musk has been criticized for his lack of charitable giving over the previous decade. He received right into a public spat with the UN meals program chief in 2021, difficult the assertion that donating $6 billion of his inventory might finish world starvation.
Nonetheless, Musk gave 11.5 million shares of his Tesla stake to an undisclosed charity final 12 months, shares price about $1.9 billion on the time they have been donated. The donation would make him the second-largest charitable donor in 2022, in keeping 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 advised Gates, estimating solely 20 cents of every greenback made a distinction that means. Gates might “do extra good for local weather change by investing in Tesla,” Musk stated, in keeping with Isaacson.
Musk then questioned Gates on why he had positioned a guess towards Tesla’s inventory, generally known as a “quick,” in hopes the share value would drop. Musk despised individuals who guess towards his firm, seeing them as mortal enemies. At the moment, Gates had misplaced $1.5 billion betting towards the inventory. Gates stated he apologized and stated he shorted the inventory as a result of he thought he might earn money doing so.
Musk advised Isaacson he felt Gates was hypocritical to battle towards local weather change whereas attempting to earn money on the failure of a sustainable power automotive 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 guess 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 really need to like him (sigh).”
Gates was extra gracious afterward. When individuals criticized Musk at a dinner in Washington, DC, Gates stated, “there is no such thing as a one in our time who has carried out extra to push bounds of science and innovation.”