Elon Musk wants to be ‘cult leader’: Apple founder Steve Wozniak

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Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak called Elon Musk a “cult leader” who doesn’t measure up as an entrepreneur to his late partner Steve Jobs.

“I put them in the category of having the ability to communicate, and wanting to be seen as the important person and be like a cult leader,” Wozniak said of Musk and Jobs during an appearance on CNBC’s Squawk Box on Thursday.

“A lot of people will follow them no matter what they say,” added Wozniak, who created the first Apple computers alongside the visionary Jobs in the late 1970s.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak says there are similarities between Elon Musk and Steve Jobs.Getty Images

Wozniak, 72, hit out at Musk for what he claims is a lack of honesty.

“My life has been based on total honesty,” Wozniak said.

“Everything you say is totally honest. You don’t hide things. You don’t make things up. You don’t make yourself seem better,” he said.

“And a lot of honesty disappears when you look at Elon Musk and Tesla.”

“Elon Musk and Steve Jobs are very similar, and I don’t like to say that,” says Apple Co-Founder @stevewoz. “They both want to be seen as the important person and be like a cult leader. But a lot of honesty disappears when you look at @elonmusk and $TSLA.”

— Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) February 9, 2023

Wozniak said he’s still smarting from his 2016 purchase of a Tesla. He said Musk misled him and his family into thinking that the car would soon be fully self-driving.

Instead, Wozniak said he was disappointed that the car still lacked the ability to drive itself cross-country — even after he invested some $50,000 to upgrade the vehicle’s cameras and sensors.

Wozniak told CNBC that he’s grown a “bit tired” of Musk’s habit of “speak[ing] in marketing terms” which he finds “dishonest.”

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is “dishonest” about the company’s self-driving technology, Wozniak says.

Last October, reported that Tesla was under criminal investigation over claims that its electric vehicles could drive themselves.

The Justice Department began investigating Tesla in 2021 after more than a dozen crashes involving the vehicle’s autopilot feature. Some of those accidents were fatal.

Last week, Tesla disclosed that the federal government sought documents related to its Full Self-Driving and Autopilot driver-assistance systems.

Jobs, who died in 2011, founded Apple alongside Wozniak in the late 1970s.Getty Images

The automaker said in a filing it “has received requests from the DOJ for documents related to Tesla’s Autopilot and FSD features.”

Tesla did not respond to a request for comment.

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