Elon Musk calls out Bill Gates — Analysis
World’s richest man challenges fellow billionaire’s climate stance and compares him to ‘pregnant man’ emoji
Tesla CEO Elon Musk had a withering comeback for Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates after Gates tried to interest him in “Verge” philanthropy, accusing the software tycoon of not taking climate change seriously by pointing out that Gates had shorted the stock of Tesla, the US market leader in electric vehicles, for half a billion dollars.
The conversation became public on Friday, with Gates apologizing for the short (“Sorry to say I haven’t closed it out”), while urging the SpaceX founder to overlook that fact and “Discuss philanthropy options” with him.
Bill Gates apparently got a kick out of it @elonmusk to discuss “philanthropy on climate change” but Elon asked if he still had a half billion dollar short position on $TSLA. Bill said he hasn’t closed it out, so Elon told him to get lost. I have no idea if that is true. pic.twitter.com/iuHkDG3bAd
— Whole Mars Catalog (@WholeMarsBlog) April 22, 2022
“Please, your climate change philanthropy is not something I can take seriously. You have an enormous short position against Tesla. Tesla is the company that does the most for climate change solutions.,” Musk retorted. The billionaire has acknowledged the conversation really happened, but claimed on Twitter that he didn’t know how it had been leaked to the New York Times.
However, Musk suggested Gates’ short position on Tesla was “Not exactly top-secret,” claiming he had heard from multiple people at the TED conference earlier this month that the philanthropist “Still had half a billion to go against Tesla.”
Musk followed up that tweet with a side-by-side image of Gates and the ‘pregnant man’ emoji, both wearing blue shirts and sporting decidedly convex bellies, captioning the diptych “If you have to loose a bone quickly.”
He also poked fun at his own trolling, suggesting the “Council for shadow ban” was reviewing his pregnant-Gates tweet.
Musk proposed to buy Twitter for $43Billion last week after having acquired 9.1% of it earlier this month. Social media giant has tried to stop the purchase, using a “poison pill” tactic to allow others to buy larger shares of the company. This would be available if any shareholder controls more than 15%.
Musk has means to thwart Twitter’s ‘poison pill’ – reports
However, Musk is reportedly working to circumvent the strategy and has threatened Twitter’s board with liquidation for allegedly acting against shareholder interests should the deal ultimately go through.
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