Elon Musk got rid of secretary to control his calendar, told Bill Gates to call him directly for meetup

by The Technical Blogs


Elon Musk once told his Tesla employees that it is dumb to keep managers in between conversations. He believes that people should directly connect with the person they want to talk to. This seems to be the same reason why Musk does not like to have a personal assistant. Recently an excerpt from his biography by Walter Isaacson reveals that Elon Musk got rid of his personal assistant because he prefers to manage his things directly, especially like taking control of his calendar and deciding when and whom to meet.

In the excerpt shared by CNBC, Isaacson reveals that Elon Musk was once planning to meet Bill Gates in 2022 to talk about philanthropy and climate. The two tech leaders had interacted a few times in the past and had agreed to set up a visit. Gates, who was managed by a team of schedulers and assistants, said he would have his office call Musk’s scheduler to take things forward. However, Musk asked Gates not to call, as he did not have a scheduler. He revealed that he had gotten rid of his personal assistant and scheduler because he wanted complete control of his calendar. “Just have your secretary call me directly,” Musk said.

Bill Gates was initially hesitant to have his assistant call Elon Musk directly, but he eventually decided to do so himself to arrange a meeting in Austin. The two tech billionaires stayed in touch and exchanged updates until Gates arrived at Tesla’s Gigafactory, where Musk was waiting to welcome him.

Interestingly, the excerpt even shared how the meetup ended up in a clash of words between Musk and Gates but everything was seen as healthy and nothing around animity. Isaacson reveals that Elon Musk and Bill Gates are two of the richest people in the world, and they share a number of similarities. They are both brilliant engineers with a laser focus on their goals. “Both have analytic minds, an ability to laser-focus, and an intellectual surety that edges into arrogance. Neither suffers fools. All of these traits made it likely they would eventually clash, which is what happened when Musk began giving Gates a tour of the factory,” the excerpt noted.

The excerpt reveals that Bill Gates and Elon Musk had a heated disagreement about the future of energy. Gates argued that batteries would never be able to power large semi-trucks and that solar energy would not be a major part of solving the climate problem. However, Musk disagreed with his stance.

A few months after their disagreement, Gates took a half-billion dollar short position against Tesla, which is a bet that the company’s stock price will go down. This move further infuriated Musk, who accused Gates of being a hypocrite for shorting Tesla while also claiming to be a climate change activist.

Speaking about this incident to Isaacson Gates told Walter Isaacson that he shorted Tesla because he believed that the supply of electric vehicles would soon outpace demand, leading to a price drop. Gates said that this was a business move, and not a personal attack on Elon Musk. “Once he heard I’d shorted the stock, he was super mean to me, but he’s super mean to so many people, so you can’t take it too personally,” said Gates.

The full text exchange between Elon Musk and Bill Gates, which has been recounted in Walter Isaacson’s biography, was even leaked online in April 2022. Musk himself confirmed the authenticity of the screenshot on Twitter. He explained that he had heard from multiple people at TED that Gates still had a half-billion-dollar short position against Tesla, which is why he asked Gates about it. Musk tweeted, “So it’s not exactly top secret.”

Following the incident, Musk even took a jab at Gates about his weight on Twitter. However, he eventually declared that he was moving on from the issue.

Published On:

Sep 12, 2023


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