Elon Musk has not been short of drama lately, especially when it comes to his flip-flop over whether or not the billionaire will go through with his bid to buy Twitter for the originally proposed price of $54.20 a share, roughly $40.00 per share. 44 billion.
While it’s unclear what Musk’s plans are for himself and Twitter once the acquisition is complete (if it happens at all), a recently surfaced interview from 20 years ago shows that the multi-CEO may not even want to run a large company, anyway .
The interviewrecorded in 2001, circled Musk’s then-new desire to leave Silicon Valley after checking out his website X.com take off and become PayPal.
“It got to the point where I wasn’t well suited to run a company of that size, nor was I particularly interested in running a company with more than 600 people, so I decided to stay as CEO of the company , but to look for something else to do,” Musk told the outlet.
It’s a subtle nod, but it could indicate Musk’s nature for wanting his hands in as many buckets as possible, without being labeled the sole person responsible for any particular bucket.
During a Twitter campaign that Musk organized this summer, the question was even raised what specific title Musk saw himself taking if the deal was completed, and his response remained in line with his feelings from more than two decades ago.
“I don’t think I’m tied to titles, but I do want to steer the product in a certain direction,” he says told Twitter employees. “So, you know, it could be that… I don’t really care about being CEO. In fact, I rebranded myself at Tesla as ‘Techno King’ in an official SEC filing.”
In Musk’s 2001 interview, he also dropped this now ironic one-liner.
“On a personal level, I would say right now that I’m a little tired of the internet,” he mused.
The billionaire then alluded to Tesla, which would be founded almost two years later, by describing the kind of work he wanted to do in the future. Musk had a vision, saw it through and created what is now a trillion dollar company.
“The next business that I do, one of the things that I think would be important is that it has a long-term beneficial effect,” he said. “I’m interested in something that’s in a different sphere and goes back to why I originally came to Silicon Valley, which is to study energy physics.”
In the video, which was notably pre-Tesla, Musk also praised his new plane and a McClaren.
He also discussed a near-death run-up with malaria at the time after a visit to South Africa, forcing Musk to reevaluate his priorities.
“Having that experience really gives me a feel for aspects of life and makes me appreciate friends and family and spend time with the people you love,” he said. “And as an australiabusinessblog.com in Silicon Valley, you don’t actually do that much.”
Musk’s ability to propose and then implement his ideas, something that could mean a quick and lasting change for Twitter as a platform – for better or for worse. As the Musk-Twitter drama continues, all eyes are on the Tesla CEO to see how much of his attitude to business and work has changed, and what has stayed the same.