/ Posts / Musk vs. Gates: The Billionaire Philanthropy Tango Amid Tesla Tensions

Musk vs. Gates: The Billionaire Philanthropy Tango Amid Tesla Tensions



In an upcoming biography about Elon Musk, the dynamics between Musk and Bill Gates following a contentious disagreement regarding Gates' shorting of Tesla stocks is unraveled. The book, authored by Walter Isaacson, brings forth the relationship between these two tech moguls. Isaacson, who spent considerable time tracking the life and work of Musk, shared an interesting revelation from early 2022. 

During this period, Gates approached Musk with some philanthropic proposals. He suggested that Musk consider making contributions towards causes like assisting refugees, bolstering American education, research for curing AIDS, mosquito eradication, and the development of climate-resistant seeds. 

However, the mood shifted later in the year when Gates reached out to Musk in April. Musk responded with a hint of skepticism, expressing his difficulty in taking Gates' climate philanthropy to heart, especially given Gates' substantial short position against Tesla, a company that Musk believes is at the forefront of tackling climate change. For those unfamiliar, shorting a stock essentially means predicting its value will decrease. Around this time, Musk publicly stated that Gates had wagered a massive half-billion dollars on Tesla stocks declining.

Looking back at the situation, Gates mentioned to Isaacson that he did apologize to Musk. He realized Musk was a bit hard on him but also noted that Musk's fiery comebacks are pretty famous. So, it wasn't necessarily a jab at him personally. Gates wanted to set the record straight that shorting Tesla was more of a business strategy. He believed there'd soon be more electric cars than buyers, which might drop their prices.

Word got out about the Gates-Musk chat, thanks to Isaacson's documentation, and it buzzed all over the internet early in 2022. Musk didn't just sit quietly; he hopped onto Twitter and confirmed that the shared info was legit. And if you're wondering how he knew about Gates' Tesla bet, it wasn't through secret whispers. He got the scoop from folks at a TED talk.

Things got a tad personal when Musk couldn't resist poking fun at Gates' physical appearance on Twitter. However, he soon waved the white flag, indicating he was over the spat.

To see the bigger picture here, it's worth highlighting their charity efforts. The Chronicle of Philanthropy showcased both Gates and Musk as big-hearted donors in 2022. Gates generously channeled $5 billion into the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, making headlines as the year's top donation. Musk wasn't far behind with his commendable $1.9 billion Tesla stock donation, even outshining Michael Bloomberg.

But when asked about the whole episode? Both Gates and Musk haven't said a peep, giving no response to Insider's queries.

Become a part of digital history

Create post

Comments . 0

No comments yet. Be the first to add a comment!