One Tesla co-founder is by far the worst person I have worked with, says Elon Musk



Tesla CEO and currently the richest person in the world Elon Musk has once again opened up about the difficult early days at Tesla. This was a time when the Fortune 500 automaker was just a small startup and not many people knew it even existed.

“Eberhard is by far the worst person I’ve ever worked with in my entire career. Given how many people I’ve worked with over the years, that’s really saying something,” Musk stated in response to a tweet by a Tesla (TSLA) retail investor.

Martin Eberhard was the first CEO of Tesla, Inc. when the company started back in 2003. With the chain of events that led to troubles at the time, Martin was forced to leave his position and Elon Musk took over to save the company from an early demise.

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“He came damn close to killing Tesla through a combination of bad management decisions, driving out talented people, bad engineering, major blunders in supply chain & an elaborate deception about the true cost & schedule of the Tesla Roadster,” Musk described Eberhard’s self-destructing leadership at Tesla at the time.

“Once the board was presented with the evidence of Eberhard’s deception/fraud & the dire state of the company, all board members, including those he appointed, voted unanimously to fire him in August 2007,” Elon Musk explained how Martin Eberhard was fired from Tesla.

Martin Eberhard's original Tesla Roadster VIN #2. Custom light gray color with red sport stripes across the middle of the car.
Martin Eberhard’s original Tesla Roadster VIN #2. Custom light gray color with red sport stripes across the middle of the car. The license plate reads “Mr. Tesla”. Credit: Steve Jurvetson / Flickr (CC BY 2.0).
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Musk also said that the founding story of Tesla as told by Eberhard is “patently false.” Further down the discussion thread of this tweet, Elon Musk also said that he wants to do a podcast on Tesla history to bring facts to the world truly blatantly.

A recent Forbes article covered in detail how 2 out of the 5 co-founders made it to the billionaire’s list while the other 3 never became that rich. Actually, Elon Musk and the company’s Ex CTO JB Straubel believed in the mission of sustainable transportation and sticked to it in hard times.

While Martin Eberhard, Marc Tarpenning, and Ian Wright left early on. They never anticipated that Tesla would one day become a $1 trillion+ company, Ian Wright even confessed this, now he owns no TSLA stock — ironic!

Elon Musk and Martin Eberhard have faced each other in the court of law over Tesla’s legacy before. The case was closed on undisclosed terms between both parties. Martin however refrains taking a hard stance on Musk’s statements since then but Elon Musk can easily afford another court battle.

Related: NASA and Musk’s SpaceX win the lawsuit from Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin over lunar lander contract.

Featured photo: Steve Jurvetson / Flickr (CC BY 2.0), remixed by Iqtidar Ali /

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Video: Elon Musk’s 3 and half hour interview by Third Row Tesla Podcast (recorded in Jan 2020).
Iqtidar Ali
Iqtidar Ali
Iqtidar has been writing about Tesla, Elon Musk, and EVs for more than 3 years on, many of his articles have been republished on CleanTechnica and InsideEVs, maintains a healthy relationship with the Tesla community across the Social Media sphere. You can reach him on Twitter @IqtidarAlii

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