Martin Eberhard, full name Martin Forest Eberhard, is an American engineer, entertainer, businessman, and inventor best known for co-founding Tesla, Inc. (then Tesla Motors) in 2003 with Marc Tarpenning. On May 15, 1960, he was born in Berkeley, California, USA. He stands about 5 feet and 9 inches tall. Many people believe that Elon Musk founded Tesla Inc, but in reality, Elon Musk did not. Tesla, Inc. was founded by Martin and Marc Tarpenning. Elon Musk is the fourth CEO of Tesla Inc. He was appointed in 2008. Eberhard was Tesla’s first chairman and CEO until late 2007.
Early Life and Education
Martin Eberhard grew up in Kensington, California, a Berkeley Hills neighbourhood. In 1982, he earned a B.S. in computer engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and in 1984, he earned an M.S. in electrical engineering from the same university.
He was inducted into the University of Illinois Engineering Hall of Fame in 2015.
Carolyn Eberhard is Martin’s wife.
They started their relationship at the University of Illinois.
They live in California.
Career / Business
Eberhard started his career as an electrical engineer at Wyse Technology, where his first product was the WY-30 ASCII computer terminal. Eberhard co-founded Network Computing Devices in 1987 and served as its chief engineer until the company went public in 1992.
Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning founded NuvoMedia in 1996, where they created the Rocket eBook, the first e-book with secure internet delivery of content. Until NuvoMedia was acquired by Gemstar in 2000, Eberhard served as chairman and CEO.
Eberhard’s passion for sports cars, as well as his concerns about oil imports and global warming, led him to consider electric vehicles as part of the solution. He learned about and attempted to purchase the AC Propulsion tzero, a prototype electric sports car. He helped with the financial and technical aspects of the tzero’s conversion to lithium-ion batteries. Eberhard then attempted to persuade Alan Cocconi, the founder of AC Propulsion, to turn the tzero into a production car. Eberhard co-founded (with Marc Tarpenning) and became the first CEO of Tesla Motors, an electric car company in Menlo Park, California, in 2003 after Cocconi declined.
Eberhard’s 3 guiding principles at Tesla are as follows:
- An electric car should not be a compromise. It is possible to build electric cars that are better than their competitors with the right technology choices.
- Battery technology is critical to the success of an electric vehicle. Lithium-ion batteries aren’t just good for cars; they’re game-changing, allowing for a reasonable driving range.
- Electric cars, if designed properly, can appeal to even the most ardent car enthusiast, as the electric drive is capable of significantly outperforming internal combustion engines.
Martin Eberhard is behind the wheel of the second of Tesla Motors’ Founder’s Series Roadsters, the first series of Tesla Roadsters (2008). The Tesla Roadster is a battery-electric sports car with a range of 244 miles (393 kilometres) according to the EPA.
Tesla issued a press release on November 30, 2007, titled “Martin Eberhard, Co-founder of Tesla Motors, to Transition to Advisory Board.” Elon Musk had asked Eberhard to leave, according to Fortune magazine in December 2007. In an interview, Musk stated that it was not due to ideological differences, but that he did not see Eberhard playing a role. The New York Times reported on January 7, 2008, that Tesla Motors issued a statement explaining that Martin Eberhard, the company’s co-founder and former CEO, “has transitioned from the board of directors and executive management to the advisory board.”
Eberhard had signed a non-disclosure agreement with Tesla, he stated that “As a result, I’m required by contract to be somewhat cautious in my wording.
Eberhard expressed dissatisfaction with the transition, noting that he had signed a non-disclosure agreement with Tesla, “so I must, by contract, be a bit careful about how I word things.” Eberhard criticized Tesla layoffs in his now-deleted Tesla Founders Blog, calling them a “stealth bloodbath.”
Eberhard sued Elon Musk for libel, slander, and breach of contract in June 2009, alleging that Musk pushed him out of the company, publicly disparaged him and jeopardized Tesla’s financial health.
Eberhard dropped the lawsuit in August 2009 for undisclosed reasons. A Tesla spokesperson declined to comment on the change, indicating that a settlement is possible. Tesla asserted the settlement in September 2009 but did not provide any additional information.
In an interview with CNBC in October 2019, Eberhard revealed that he is still a Tesla shareholder and is still rooting for the overall success of the company.
Martin Eberhard founded stealth-mode startup inEVit in September 2016 intending to supply major OEMs with electric drivetrains and power storage solutions.
In October 2017, SF Motors (now Seres) purchased inEVit. Eberhard was the chief innovation officer until July 2018, when he stepped down.
Eberhard founded Tiveni in 2019 to create “intelligent EV battery systems,” according to the company’s website.
Why Martin Eberhard left Tesla
Well, the reason for his departure from Tesla has not been fully disclosed; however, he had legally sued Musk in 2009, but due to undisclosed reasons, he stepped back and officially left Tesla Inc. According to Martin Eberhard, he was forced to leave the company.
Martin Eberhard was born on the 15th day of May, 1960. Today he is 62 years old.
Martin’s total net worth is approximately $1.7 billion as of 2022, owing to his intelligence as a businessman, entrepreneur, and investor. Is Martin a Tesla shareholder? Yes, he still owns some Tesla stock and is optimistic about the company’s future.