We can read the Tweets, but it’s not every day we get to read a billionaire’s personal texts.
As part of the court battle between Twitter and Elon Musk and his attempt to back out of his agreement to buy the social media company, texts between Elon Musk and a variety of luminaries, including Gayle King of CBS and Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn, have been made public.
The texts reveal Musk’s unfiltered opinions on a variety of topics and provide a glimpse into how billionaires get things done — like offering billions of dollars via text, as Hoffman did in one text conversation.
But overall, the dump is not great for Musk, tech analyst Daniel Ives told Entrepreneur.
“It’s not a good look and likely puts Musk in a weaker legal stance heading into Delaware,” he said.
Here are five fascinating moments from the text dump, courtesy of court documents and reports from multiple outlets, including one where he appeared to ghost someone offering him billions to help buy Twitter.
Musk does not want to be in charge
Musk is the richest man in the world and leads companies including SpaceX and Tesla. But, apparently, it’s not the vibe.
“Frankly, I hate doing mgmt stuff. I kinda don’t think I should be the boss of anyone. But I love helping solve technical/product design problems,” Musk texted Agrawal, who replied Musk should think of him as an engineer, not a CEO, per Insider.
But they didn’t seem to have common ground for long. Jack Dorsey, former Twitter CEO and founder and friend of Musk’s got on a video call with Musk and Agrawal in late April.
“At least it became clear that you can’t work together. That was clarifying,” Dorsey told Musk after.
Musk also publicly trolled the Twitter CEO during his online discussion around the company’s bot levels, and after, their relationship seemed to sour via texts, too.
This is one of the wildest professional exchanges I’ve ever seen. pic.twitter.com/BDJevxv4WD
— Dare Obasanjo (@Carnage4Life) September 30, 2022
Gayle King really wants another interview
As TechCrunch points out, Musk corresponds almost entirely with men in these text logs, from Hoffman to Dorsey. One of the few women in the text drop is Gayle King, who co-hosts the CBS Mornings show.
She tried to get him to come on her show and talk about the Twitter deal, per Insider.
“Are you ready to do a proper sit down with me? so much to discuss! Especially with your Twitter play…” she wrote on April 6. Musk has been on the morning show at least once with King, in 2018.
She also asked him to come on the show after he said he was planning to buy Twitter.
“ELON! You buying Twitter or offering to buy Twitter wow! Now don’t you think we should sit down together face to face this is as the kids say a ‘gangsta move’ I dont know how shareholders turn this down… like I said you are not like the other kids in the class,” King wrote.
He’s imagining crypto Twitter, with no censorship
Musk called platform moderation “hidden corruption,” to Joe Lonsdale, co-founder of Palantir, via text. Still, he seemed to still have a sort of competing desire to bring down the amount of information on the platform.
According to TechCrunch, he mused about operating a version of Twitter on the blockchain, “So you’d have to pay maybe 0.1 Doge per comment or repost of that comment,” he said to Steve Davis, president of The Boring Company, after then saying it was probably not realistic.
If billionaires want money, they just have to text their friends. They don’t always respond.
The texts provided a rare glimpse into the behind-the-scenes as the $44 billion deal to buy Twitter came together.
Hoffman, in response to Musk asking if the VC could contribute around $2 billion to the Twitter deal replied, “Great. Probably doable — let me see,” and looped him in with Morgan Stanley, according to Insider.
In another conversation, Will MacAskill, who advises Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of FTX, reached out to Musk about helping finance the Twitter deal, offering billions of dollars.
Apparently, Musk did not even reply to at least one of his texts, the outlet reported.
Elon and Jack are still pals
The funniest revelation so far is that the irreverent friendship between Dorsey and Musk, which has played out in public (and of course — on Twitter), is supported by the text dump, where they bonded over their vision for the company.
Most importantly, however: Musk has Dorsey saved in his phone as “jack jack.”