October 26, 2020

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Is Elon Musk The New Steve Jobs? Bill Gates Says No

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Many people see a likening between Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) CEO Elon Musk and Apple Inc (NASDAQ:...

Many people see a likening between Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) CEO Elon Musk and Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL) co-founder Steve Jobs, but Bill Gates isn’t one of them.

What Happened: “You wouldn’t walk into a room and confuse them with each other,” the co-founder of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) remarked in an interview with Bloomberg on Thursday, when asked if Musk was the new Jobs.

“Elon is more of a hands-on engineer,” the billionaire philanthropist added. “Steve was a genius at design and picking people and marketing.”

Gates acknowledged that Musk and others have made great contributions to the electric car and therefore to the “climate change effort.”

“He did it with quality,” Gates said on Musk’s efforts. “It’s still a little premium-priced but fine. You know he’s got that initial market,” he observed.

The former CEO of Microsoft said he was not trivializing in any way the need to raise the market share of electric vehicles but “on a relative basis it is far easier than the industrial economy where our progress is very very small.”

Why It Matters: Gates’ comments come after he wrote a blog last month in which he theorized that all-electric options for heavy transportation are not very viable.  

Gates didn’t make any mention of Tesla or Elon Musk in the post, while mentioning rivals such as Rivian and Bollinger, along with legacy automakers Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) and General Motors Company (NYSE: GM). 

When Musk was asked about the opinion of Gates on the subject on Twitter, he replied “He has no clue.” Previously, Musk had described his conversations with Gates as “underwhelming.”

Price Action: Tesla shares closed 4.15% lower at $423.43 on Thursday.

Photo courtesy: Daniel Oberhaus via Wikimedia

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