Reuters / Richard Brian
- Billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman lauded Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk on the latest episode of The Knowledge Project podcast.
- “I admire people like Elon Musk, I admire people who take on unbelievable challenges and succeed,” the Pershing Square Capital boss said.
- Ackman also questioned the tech executive’s infamous Twitter habit.
- “I don’t know that Elon Musk has been the ideal public company CEO,” he said. “He had a challenging period there with his tweets.”
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Billionaire investor Bill Ackman praised Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, but questioned his Twitter habit, during an episode of The Knowledge Project podcast released on Tuesday.
“I admire people like Elon Musk, I admire people who take on unbelievable challenges and succeed,” the Pershing Square Capital boss told host Shane Parrish. “He’s someone I have enormous respect for.”
“The notion of building a car company to compete with the big car companies is something that on its own is fairly remarkable,” Ackman continued.
“If you do that a time when you’re building a company to launch rockets into space I think it’s even more remarkable.”
Ackman, who has never invested in Tesla, also acknowledged Musk’s history of controversial tweets. They include calling a rescue diver a “pedo guy,” claiming “funding was secured” to take Tesla private, and outlining the downsides of his workers unionizing.
“I don’t know that Elon Musk has been the ideal public company CEO,” Ackman said on the podcast. “He had a challenging period there with his tweets.”
The Pershing chief also accused Tesla short-sellers of going too far in their efforts to tank the electric-car maker’s stock price.
“I do think some of the short-sellers went beyond the role of identifying overvaluation in their attempts to actually harm a company.” Ackman said. “That’s where I think it goes beyond the pale.”
Ackman thanked Musk last month for his offer to manufacture ventilators as supplies dwindled due to the coronavirus crisis. The investor recognized the potential fallout from the pandemic as early as February, spurring him to buy $27 million in hedges for his fund.
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The hedges ballooned in value to $2.6 billion during the market meltdown, offsetting losses in Pershing’s equity portfolio and enabling it to buy more shares in Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, Hilton, and other companies.
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