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- Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger weighed in on Elon Musk at Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting.
- The Tesla chief tackles complex problems, resulting in major wins and losses, they said.
- “We don’t want that much failure,” Munger said, explaining why they take fewer risks than Musk.
Elon Musk dreams big and tackles daunting problems, meaning he sometimes achieves great things but also fails dismally on occasion, Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger have said.
The Tesla, SpaceX, and Twitter CEO “takes on the impossible,” Buffett, the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, said during his company’s annual meeting on Saturday.
“Warren and I are looking for the easy job,” Munger, Buffett’s business partner and Berkshire’s vice-chairman said. “We don’t want that much failure.”
Buffett and Munger have both credited Musk for successfully scaling Tesla into a major automaker in the brutally competitive car industry. Musk, who dreams of colonizing Mars, has also pioneered reusable-rocket technology at SpaceX and experienced high-profile failures and spectacular explosions in the process.
The Berkshire CEO said he wouldn’t enjoy taking the risks that Musk does, but the Tesla chief “wouldn’t enjoy being in my shoes either.”
“It’s a dedication to solving the impossible, and every now and then he’ll do it,” Buffett added.
Musk has distanced himself from Buffett in recent years, describing himself as a builder of businesses and products as opposed to an investor. He’s acknowledged Buffett’s expertise, but described the Berkshire chief’s job of studying companies and allocating capital as “super boring.”
Even so, the tech billionaire recently said Buffett would be an ideal US Treasury Secretary, as the Berkshire chief could do the job in less than one hour a week.
Musk has also chided Buffett and Munger for passing on the opportunity to invest in Tesla at a $200 million valuation in 2008. The automaker now commands a market capitalization north of $500 billion.