Martin Eberhard is an American business executive and engineer who is best known as the co-founder and former CEO of Tesla.
He was born on May 15, 1960, in Berkeley, California, USA, as Martin Forest Eberhard.
Martin grew up in Kensington, California.
In 1983, Eberhard earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
From 1983 to 1987, he worked as an Engineer at Wyse Technology. There, Martin designed the WY-30 ASCII computer terminal.
In 1987, Eberhard, alongside Kevin Martin, Ed Basart, Dave Cornelius, Doug Klein, and Mike Harrigan, co-founded Network Computing Devices to produce a new class of products known as network terminals (now known as a “thin client”).
In April 1997, Martin co-founded NuvoMedia with Marc Tarpenning.
In 1998, the company created the first-ever ebook reader called the Rocket eBook. The ebooks were powered by lithium-ion batteries.
In 1999, NuvoMedia sold over 20,000 units. NuvoMedia was acquired by Gemstar-TV Guide International for $187 million in 2000.
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In 2003, Eberhard and Tarpenning co-founded Tesla Motors, an electric automobile company based in San Carlos, California.
They named their company after famed inventor Nikola Tesla.
Martin became the first CEO of the company.
”I didn’t start as an electric car enthusiast but as a non-fossil fuel enthusiast,” Martin told Economics Times in 2019. ”My interest was simply using less energy,” he said in another interview.
In April 2004, Elon Musk became the chairman of the board with an investment of $6.35 million. Musk made $165 million as the largest shareholder in PayPal when it was bought by eBay in 2002.
Eberhard and Tarpenning first met with Musk at a gathering for Mars Society members.
In 2006, Tesla Motors unveiled the Roadster prototype. The first model produced in 2008 could travel almost 250 miles on a single battery. Arnold Schwarzenegger was one of the first buyers.
Eberhard was replaced as CEO of Tesla Motors in the summer of 2007. He left in December 2007.
”When Eberhard was fired from the Tesla CEO role in mid-2007 for providing false information to me & the board, no one left with him,” Elon Musk tweeted in October 2020. He added: ”That says it all.”
Michael Marks was appointed as the CEO after Eberhard left. Elon finally stepped in as CEO in October 2008.
On May 26, 2009, Eberhard sued Musk, accusing him of trying ”to rewrite history by falsely claiming that he was the founder or creator of Tesla Motors,” orchestrating his dismiss in 2007 and taking control of the company.
”This lawsuit is an unfair personal attack and, more importantly, paints an inaccurate picture of Tesla’s history,” Tesla Motors said in response to the suit.
Elon said Martin also grossly underestimated the costs of producing the Roadster.
In September 2009, they reached a settlement. The legal settlement made Eberhard legally recognize Elon Musk as one of the founders of Tesla, as well as Ian Wright and JB Straubel.
”I think Elon’s, Elon-ness has increased over the years,” Eberhard said in February 2021. He also said in that interview: ”If you want to describe Elon Musk in a nutshell, I don’t think he would fit in a nutshell.”
In 2010, it was revealed that he’s working as a consultant with Volkswagen Group on its Electronics Research Lab in Palo Alto, California.
In 2011, Martin was featured in the documentary ”Revenge of the Electric Car.”
In 2015, Eberhard was inducted into the Engineering Hall of Fame.
In September 2016, he founded stealth-mode inEVit, an electric vehicle battery modularization startup. The company was bought by SF Motors in October 2017. Eberhard left the company in 2018.
In August 2018, Martin started a new venture – Tiveni, a startup developing battery systems. ”We take the manufacturing time for making a battery system to one-twentieth of the time it takes now,” he told Business Insider.
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Martin Eberhard is married to Carolyn.
The two met at the University of Illinois.
Martin Eberhard – Net Worth
Eberhard earned most of his wealth from co-founding Tesla in 2003.
In October 2019, Eberhard confirmed that he is still a shareholder of Tesla.
Martin also served as the Director of the Volkswagen Electronics Research Lab, and co-founded Network Computing Devices and NuvoMedia. He currently serves as the Chairman of Tiveni.
Therefore, engineer Martin Eberhard has an estimated net worth of $500 million.
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