Billionaire Frenemies. Details Of The Odd Relationship Of Elon Musk And Peter Thiel.

FILE - In this Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020 file photo, SpaceX owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk arrives on the red carpet for the Axel Springer media award, in Berlin, Germany. Technology mogul Elon Musk has a lined up a new gig in addition to his jobs as CEO of electric car maker Tesla and spaceship maker SpaceX. He is going to host the iconic TV show “Saturday Night Live " on May 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Britta Pedersen, Pool, File)

There’s a new book called “The Contrarian: Peter Thiel and Silicon Valley’s Pursuit of Power,” by Max Chafkin that takes a look at the complex relationship of Elon Musk and Peter Thiel. 

Now both world-famous influential billionaires, they have known each other for years, and their relationship goes all the way back to when they combined their online banking companies PayPal and X. 

As far as whether they like each other now after over 20 years is kind of complicated.  According to a story in Business Insider, a source who knows both men was quoted as saying that Musk thinks Thiel is a sociopath, and Thiel thinks Musk is a fraud. 

Sounds like a strong foundation for a wonderful friendship. 

Chafkin went into more detail in the book, saying “Whereas Thiel could be comically secretive, even among close friends, Musk was incapable of censoring himself. 

Whereas Thiel tended to think in terms of limiting risk, Musk was perpetually going for broke.”

Another interesting tidbit from the book was this juicy nugget.  After they combined forces and were both at PayPal, CEO Musk was on a two week honeymoon with his wife, and during that time Thiel and his faction at the company conspired to overthrow Musk as the head of the company.  A number of Thiel’s allies threatened to quit if Thiel wasn’t made CEO. 

The two titans do have a few things in common.  Both lived in South Africa and each attended Stanford University. 

The book also reported that Thiel refused to invest in Tesla because according to Musk, Thiel “doesn’t fully buy into the climate change thing.”

It will be hard for Thiel to be too mad at Musk since he has made a nice return on the $20 million investment he put into Tesla in 2009 which helped to keep the company afloat. 

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