Who is Martin Eberhard?
Martin Eberhard is an American inventor, engineer, and entrepreneur. He is best known as the co-founder of Tesla, Inc which was initially known as ‘Tesla Motors.’ He was the first chairman and CEO of Tesla until the final weeks of 2007. In this article, we have covered his journey in and out of Tesla as well as his personal life so keep scrolling.
Martin Eberhard Age
Eberhard is 62 years old as of 2022. He was born on May 15, 1960, in Berkeley, California, USA.
Martin Eberhard Education
Eberhard graduated in 1978 from York Community High School. He later enrolled at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where he received his Bachelor of Science in Computer engineering (1982) and a Master of Science in electrical engineering (1984).
Martin Eberhard Wife
Eberhard is married to his college sweetheart, Carolyn Eberhard. The couple started dating during their college years in the early 1980s. Carolyn lives a private life hence, not much is known about her personal life.
Martin Eberhard’s Net Worth
Eberhard’s net worth as of 2022 is roughly $500 million. He was among the three c0-founders who fell short of becoming billionaires.
Martin Eberhard Shares in Tesla
Tesla’s founding owners include Eberhard, the company’s first CEO, and another early executive named Marc Tarpenning. The two came up with the idea to name the company’s cars after inventor Nikola Tesla in 2003. They were the first guys to lay claim to the newly formed company that would later rock the foundations of Detroit.
The difference between them and Musk, whose estimated net worth as of November 2022 is $282 billion, was that neither of them owned enough Tesla shares to reach billionaire status. Eberhard and Tarpenning’s idea became a reality thanks to Musk’s initial funding, which came from his early success as a co-founder of the payment processor PayPal.
It also opened the door for Musk to take full control of Tesla by growing his ownership position steadily throughout the nine funding rounds that preceded the company’s 2010 first public offering, each of which gradually decreased the stakes owned by Eberhard and Tarpenning.
Even to this day, Musk’s stake keeps growing as he continues to receive billion-dollar stock awards each quarter in place of a salary. Eberhard refused to be more specific in an interview but stated that he still holds a “very minor” share in Tesla. He said, “I sold a good chunk of my stock a long time ago. People somehow have the idea that I was a zillionaire when I started Tesla. I was not.”
According to Eberhard, there wouldn’t have been a need for Musk’s initial funding if the Rocket eBook, an early handheld electronic reader he and Tarpenning developed in the late 1990s, had been more successful.
Musk has often said he doesn’t care about wealth. Nevertheless, he keeps amassing wealth at a remarkable pace. This is due to his early ownership stake in the company which was almost 20% and a long-term compensation plan that was announced in 2018.
This long-term compensation plan rewards him with additional Tesla stock valued at billions of dollars each time Tesla meets quarterly performance goals based on financial and valuation metrics.
Before the Roadster’s release in 2007, Eberhard was forced out of Tesla and this prompted him to sell a large portion of his stake. He filed a slander and wrongful termination lawsuit against Musk in 2009, which he later settled for undisclosed terms.
He made a deal with Ian Wright, a founding engineer of the company, Tarpenning, Musk, former Tesla Chief Technology Officer JB Straubel, and all of them, together known as cofounders, to forsake his objections.
Eberhard, “When I got kicked out of Tesla I had no money, I mean I really had no money. Worse than that, I had no possibility of employment for about a year because of a restrictive intellectual property agreement with Tesla, he says. I did not participate in any investment rounds after I left.”
He admitted that he is not a billionaire but chose to withhold information on his shareholding of Tesla. Tarpenning, who is currently a partner at Silicon Valley venture capital firm Spero Ventures, has alleged he still owns Tesla stock even though he is not listed among the company’s top shareholders.
What is Martin Eberhard’s New Company?
Eberhard told Autoblog Green in 2010 that he was working with Volkswagen, but he did not specify his role in the company. He established Tiveni in 2019, and claimed that the company will produce “intelligent EV battery systems.”
Which College Did Martin Attend?
Eberhard attended the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
What happened between Elon Musk and Martin Eberhard?
Eberhard sued Elon Musk for libel, defamation, and breach of contract in June 2009. He claimed that Musk had forced him out of Tesla, made derogatory remarks about him in public, and endangered Tesla’s financial stability. However, he withdrew the lawsuit in August 2009 for an unknown reason.
Why was Eberhard kicked out of Tesla?
Musk claimed that the reason Eberhard quit Tesla in 2007 was that the board had been shown proof of fraud and deception.