Meet Elon Musk the rock star Chairman and CEO of Tesla Motors, but he is actually not the original founder of the electric cars. The electric cars was the brainchild of two Silicon Valley engineers Martin Eberhard and Marc tarpenning, but they were both overthrown by Elon Musk (Empire style) and today he is the face and name of the Tesla Brand.
Here is a brief summary of how it happened;
Martin and Marc, the initial partners birthed the idea of Electric sports cars in 2003 and coined the name Tesla. They created the car design, components and other engineering details and pitched their idea to high powered investors, only Elon Musk showed interest and invested 7.5million dollars.
Armed with personal savings and Elon Musk investment Martin and Marc got to work. More automobile partners and engineers teamed up with them and in November 2004 Tesla’s first Mule was created. When tested, The Tesla Mule worked so well that many more investors came on board. Elon Musk invested a bit more, then it was time to roll out the first 100 cars
The word spread and the press came calling, America was waiting for its first sports electric car. In the midst of all these buzz, Marc Eberhard was the breakout star. Because it was his dream, he understood the cars, the components and every detail.
Marc Eberhard became MR Tesla, he did the press, and TV, Radio, New York Times and all media had only great things to say about the creation of the electric car. The media attention was good but Elon Musk the first investor felt neglected, he hated being referred to as an early investor.
Tesla received almost 120 pre orders. Business boomed and so did administrative and financial issues Eberhard who was founder and ceo was finding it difficult managing administrative, financial and managerial role with his core competence: engineering and technology, Elon Musk took this opportunity
As a result of his increasing financial interest at Tesla Motors, Musk exercised his right to appoint people to Tesla’s board of directors. By the spring of 2007, he’d named three of the seven members.
He also exercised his right to contribute to the design of the electric car. He would sweep into the factory every few weeks to see the development, learn the details, and then want changes for a variety of reasons disrupting the workflow. He made it clear he was the biggest investor, they had no choice but to comply.
One day Elon Musk now The chairman called Marc Eberhard with some tough news for him: he had been fired as CEO. It was an anonymous decision from the board. He would now be chief engineering/ technical director. a new CEO was appointed.
Fast forward a few months later, the new CEO was fired again by the board who now appointed Elon Musk as CEO and Chief Design Architect. After-all he had the most financial investment.
Martin Eberhard sued CEO Elon Musk, accusing Musk of taking control of the company, orchestrating his ouster in 2007 and attempting to “rewrite history” to take credit for developing the pioneering electric Roadster the two men worked together to create.
The suit was later settled out of court and Martin Eberhard got an undisclosed amount which finally led him to sheath his sword.
For more details and the Original story: Check Business Insider