Warren Buffett Says Elon Musk ‘Has Room For Improvement’ As CEO

Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett was trolled by Elon Musk on Twitter last year. Steve Pope/Getty Images

Elon Musk and Warren Buffett are an interesting pair of contradictions in the business world. Considering the two entrepreneurs’ age difference (Buffett is twice as old as Musk), it’s probably no surprise that they would have different mindsets and rules when it comes to running a company.

The Tesla and SpaceX CEO has openly criticized the idea of “moats,” a term coined by Buffett referring to a buffer surrounding a company in order to keep its competitive edge, and even trolled Buffett’s candy company by tweeting last year that he was going to start his own candy company.

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Nearly a year has passed, and we still haven’t seen any trace of Musk-branded confections. Evidently he has been busy with his electric car and rocket businesses—and having fun on Twitter, too.

Earlier this year, Warren Buffett’s longtime business partner, Charlie Munger, said at a shareholder meeting that he wouldn’t want to work with people like Musk because they don’t seem to understand their limitations despite the fact that these types of entrepreneurs often have a chance for outsized successes.

But what does Buffett himself think of the eccentric CEO of Tesla and SpaceX?

“Well, I think he has room for improvement,” Buffett told Yahoo Finance’s editor-in-chief Andy Serwer in a new interview when asked about his thoughts on Elon Musk as a CEO.

Buffett acknowledged that Musk is “a remarkable guy” who also has a talent for attracting attention and cultivating a cult following on social media. But as the CEO of a publicly traded company, “I just don’t see the necessity to communicate [like he does],” Buffett said. 

Buffett’s official Twitter account has only seven tweets. And none of them were written by Buffett himself. “A friend of mine signed me up for it. And she’s called me about 100 times, saying, can I tweet this or that? And I have said yes two or seven times, I guess, or something like that. I’ve never actually written one myself. I don’t even know how to do it,” he explained.

Musk and Buffett know each other personally through the Giving Pledge. But Buffett said he hasn’t talked to Musk in years because Musk never comes to the Giving Pledge’s annual gatherings.

Warren Buffett Says Elon Musk ‘Has Room For Improvement’ As CEO