Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Review: New history of Tesla takes the shine off Elon Musk - Los Angeles Times

Last updated Friday, July 30, 2021 03:00 ET , Source: NewsService

By Tim Higgins
Doubleday: 400 pages, $30

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Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook and Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk are talking on the phone. The 2016 unveiling of the make-it-or-break-it Model 3 is coming soon, but Tesla is in serious financial trouble. Cook has an idea: Apple buys Tesla.

Musk is interested, but one condition: “I’m CEO.”

Sure, says Cook. When Apple bought Beats in 2014, it kept on the founders, Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre.

No, Musk says. Apple. Apple CEO.

“F— you” Cook says, and hangs up.

So goes the juiciest allegation in “Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk and the Bet of the Century” by Wall Street Journal reporter Tim Higgins. The secondhand anecdote is atypical in a way — Higgins doesn’t break much news or gossip — but it also nicely encapsulates this sweeping history of the electric-car juggernaut, a company that often seems to innovate and thrive in spite of its founder rather than as a result of his vaunted genius.

To the inevitable disappointment of some and the relief of others, this is a book about Tesla, not about its founder. Elon Musk already does a fine job aiming the spotlight on himself. As Higgins details, it took a village to build Tesla. “Power Play” at its core is about the many employees not named Elon Musk who made essential contributions to whatever success the carmaker enjoys today.

Don’t fret: Musk is always part of...

Read Full Story: https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/books/story/2021-07-30/power-play-tesla-book-review

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