Elon Musk has confirmed that he and American business magnate Bill Gates have beef.
Yesterday, a Twitter user who focuses in part on electric vehicle news leaked several text messages supposedly exchanged between Tesla and SpaceX CEO and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. Gates asked Musk about some philanthropic opportunities, but Musk shut it down quickly.
“Sorry, but I cannot take your philanthropy on climate change seriously when you have a massive short position against Tesla, the company doing the most to solve climate change,” Musk shot back after Gates admitted to holding a half-billion-dollar short against his company.
The original post said the author wasn’t certain if the texts were real, but Musk confirmed them himself only hours later yesterday evening. Musk replied to a comment tagging him, pictured below, and said the texts must’ve been leaked by someone who has access to his circle.
Several commenters called out the fact that Gates looks pretty hypocritical by publicly supporting and funding massive climate change efforts yet holding a short position against an EV company. Short selling a stock means the purchaser is betting the stock price will go down, since a short stock only makes money when a stock price drops, and loses money if the price increases.
Why then, would Gates, a supposedly brash climate change warrior, bet against a company creating electric vehicles that use far less fossil fuel?
“So Gates is an advocate for climate change, and he shorts the one company that’s leading it and pushing the auto industry to change it? What a ‘nice’ guy,” one Twitter used replied to Musk’s statement.
The user has a point, but Gates is a billionaire, too. He clearly likes to make money. If he actually thought Tesla stock would drop eventually, his position would be grotesque and opportunistic but logical. It’s also just as easy to see why Musk wouldn’t want to work a guy like that, especially given Gates’ recent public scandals both political and personal.