Bill Gates Says ‘Underestimating’ Elon Musk ‘Not A Good Idea’

Newly appointed Hawking Fellow, Bill Gates KBE, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, speaks after receiving the Professor Hawking Fellowship 2019 at the Cambridge Union, Cambridge, Monday October 7, 2019.  The Professor Hawking Fellowship was founded by the Cambridge Union Society in 2017 and named in honour of Professor Stephen Hawking.   The Fellowship is awarded to an individual who is distinguished in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and who has made a historic and/or significant contribution to social discourse in the STEM fields.  Photograph : Luke MacGregor
Microsoft Corporation
(NASDAQ: MSFT) co-founder Bill Gates praised Tesla Inc’s (NASDAQ: TSLA) and its CEO Elon Musk’s contributions on mitigating climate change in a New York Times Co (NYSE: NYT) podcast this week.

What Happened: “Well, it’s important to say that what Elon did with Tesla is one of the greatest contributions to climate change anyone’s ever made,” the billionaire-philanthropist said on NYT opinion writer Kara Swisher’s twice-weekly podcast “Sway.”

“Underestimating Elon is not a good idea,” Gates added.

Why It Matters: The Microsoft co-founder’s comments follow Musk’s appearance on Joe Rogan’s podcast where he expressed a belief that Gates had a short position on Tesla stock, Electrek reported.

“I also heard that at one point he had a large short position. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but it seems weird,” said Musk.

“People I know who know the situation pretty well, I asked them ‘are you sure?’ and they said ‘yes, he has a huge short position on Tesla.’ That didn’t work out too well.”

Last year, Gates had said that electric trucks would never be a “practical solution” for carrying heavy loads over large distances. Musk was dismissive of Gates’ knowledge of electric vehicles and said “he has no clue.”

On an earlier occasion, Musk had expressed displeasure over Gates’ purchase of a Porsche Taycan and described conversations with the former Microsoft executive as “underwhelming.”

Price Action: Tesla shares closed nearly 2.4% lower at $796.22 on Tuesday and fell 0.6% in the after-hours session. On the same day, Microsoft shares closed nearly 0.5% lower at $243.70 and declined 0.18% in the after-hours session.

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