Elon Musk confirmed Friday that he had rejected working with Bill Gates on climate change because the Microsoft co-founder has a short position against Tesla.
The Tesla CEO confirmed text messages that have gone viral on Twitter. In the texts, the two billionaires appear set to meet somewhere.
Musk asks Gates if he still has a “half billion dollar short position against Tesla”.
Gates responds “Sorry to say I haven’t closed it out,” and adds “I would like to discuss philanthropy possibilities”.
Musk says he can’t take Gates’ philanthropy on climate change “seriously when you have a massive short position against Tesla, the company doing the most to solve climate change”.
Shorting means that an investor borrows stock, assuming that it will go down, which will give them a profit.
The texts were posted by @WholeMarsBlog who wrote “No idea if this is true lol” and asked Musk about them.
“Yeah,” Musk said, “but I didn’t leak it to NYT. They must have got it through friends of friends”.
“I heard from multiple people at TED that Gates still had half billion short against Tesla, which is why I asked him, so it’s not exactly top secret,” he added.
Musk didn’t say when the exchange happened and it wasn’t clear where the screenshot originated.
The Tesla CEO also trolled Gates on Twitter Friday comparing a photo of him to a pregnant man emoji.