Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) CEO Elon Musk on Sunday dismissed allegations that he “stole” the automaker from chief executive Martin Eberhard, claiming that more of the workers at the electric vehicle company would have left with Eberhard if that was the case.
What Happened: “When Eberhard was fired from the Tesla CEO role in mid 2007 for providing false information to me [and] the board, no one left with him. That says it all,” the billionaire entrepreneur said on Twitter.
Musk was replying to a string of tweets by @enn_nafnlaus, where the user claimed it was a lie that Martin Eberhard founded Tesla or that “Elon Musk stole it from him.”
Musk also called the information provided on Wikipedia about Eberhard’s role as “sketchy” and claimed it glorified his role.
There are sketchy edits to Tesla wiki that whitewash Eberhard’s problems/glorify his role. Pretty odd. I was interim CEO/co-CEO from July 2007. Michael Marks was co-CEO for ~Q4 2007 & Ze’ev Drori for Q1 to ~Q3 2008. After Q3 2008 financing round bust, no choice but to be CEO.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 11, 2020
Wikipedia entry for Tesla currently states the company was founded by engineers Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning in 2003. The free encyclopedia says Elon Musk, Ian Wright and J.B. Straubel joined as the next three employees and were later allowed to refer to themselves as co-founders under the 2009 lawsuit settlement.
A reference is also made on the Wikipedia page of Tesla with a 2009 CNET article about the lawsuit Eberhard filed alleging that Musk sought to rewrite Tesla’s history after his ouster as CEO in 2007.
An agreement emerged post the lawsuit wherein the automaker accepted there were five founders of Tesla, according to CNET.
Why It Matters: Musk called Eberhard as “literally the worst person I’ve ever worked with” on a podcast discussing the early history of Tesla in February.
In response, Eberhard said the utterances of Musk during the podcast were a violation of a non-disparagement agreement.
“This podcast, along with Musk’s recent attacks against me on Twitter, are absolute breaches of his and Tesla’s mutual non-disparagement agreements with me.”
Musk has also been critical of Wikipedia and said in August, “History is written by the victors … except on Wikipedia haha.”
He then went on to “beg” his followers on Twitter to trash him on Wikipedia leading to his page having to be locked due to “incoming vandalism.”
Price Action: Tesla shares closed nearly 1.9% higher at $433.95 on Friday and gained 0.12% in the after-hours session.
Photo courtesy: Steve Jurvetson via Flickr
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