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Is Martin Eberhard still with Tesla Motors?

Discussion in 'Tesla Motors' started by donauker, Nov 30, 2007.

  1. donauker

    donauker Member

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    After receiving this I checked their web site and found that Martin is not listed as part of the Tesla team or as a board member. The Investor page doesn't even list him by name but rather lists the Eberhard Family. Makes me wonder what on earth has happened at Tesla Motors.
     
  2. danny

    danny Administrator

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    "Is Martin Eberhard still with Tesla Motors?"

    No, he is not.
     
  3. mt2

    mt2 Member

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    Oh my god.

    I am anxiously awaiting news from Martin or Caroline - I hope they post soon. I also hope that this is a decision that Martin and Caroline made rather than having it thrust upon them.

    From an outsider's view, Martin has poured his heart and soul into Tesla and will always be - in many of our eyes - the man who changed the world. I hope he continues to be the voice of reason and change in the automotive industry.

    Moreover, I wish the Eberhard family well in whatever endeavors they take up next. Even if that's just a well earned vacation.
     
  4. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    I second what mt2 just said.

    I don't think Martin was planning an exit like this on his own, so it may well have been a decision made for him. If so, that sucks.
     
  5. WarpedOne

    WarpedOne Mainecoon Butler

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    Whitestar will be yet another hybrid. In 5 years there will be no Tesla Motors. This happens if a men of vision is let go.

    Sad.
     
  6. malcolm

    malcolm Active Member

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    #6 malcolm, Dec 1, 2007
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2007
    Nah

    I don't buy this. Something's got lost in translation. It's just part of the process of giving the new CEO sufficient elbow room. It's the final stage in Martin handing over the office practice putter and confirming his role as Technology Guy. The announcement is just formally recognising the end of martin and michael's tenureship in senior management.

    It's badly worded of course, but then some CEOs do tend to assume that if you drop out of senior management, you cease to exist :)

    tesla need to clarify this announcement quickly
     
  7. BlackbirdHighway

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    I thought the memo was pretty clear that Martin is no longer with the company. He is now on the advisory board, which I see as a face saving gesture and a recognition of his many major contributions to the company, and the fact that Martin must still be a major shareholder.

    Tesla has been revolutionary in that it completely changed perceptions of the electric car and the electric car's prospects for the future. (Something the EV1 almost did, and would have if they had kept with it.)

    It prompted mainstream carmakers to either launch new EV programs, or vastly accelerate ones they already had on the backburner. Future electric cars will be judged on how they compare to the Tesla. In France, the word for refrigerator is "Frigidaire" . In the future, the word for EVs might be "Tesla".

    I've never met Mr. Musk, but from what I gather, he must be a very strongly opnionated guy, and I can imagine that Eberhard and Musk must have "knocked heads" on many occasions. It's sad to see Martin go, but at least he accomplished incredible things while he was there, and will always be recognized for being the visionary behind the new EV revolution.
     
  8. malcolm

    malcolm Active Member

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    My "say it ain't so" reaction is looking more and more unrealistic.

    Damn.
     
  9. danny

    danny Administrator

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    Martin is no longer part of Tesla Motors. He also did not simply leave.
     
  10. donauker

    donauker Member

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    #10 donauker, Dec 1, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 1, 2007
    Based on the fact that Martin was removed from the company team section of the Tesla Motors web site, my original thread heading question was pretty much a rhetorical question. I too hoped there was some way to misread the evidence but I couldn’t think of any other explanation.

    I am generally rather careful in making purchases, especially large ones. My decision to place a deposit was made after coming to know Martin through his blog writings and sensing his determination and excitement for the Roadster. My trust in Tesla Motors was due to my trust in Martin Eberhard. Today that trust is gone. As a company founder myself, I have no trust in a company funded by money men who could kick aside a visionary such as Martin. Especially before he could realize the very first step of his dream through seeing customer deliveries of the Roadster begin.

    There will need to be some real explanation of these events before I will feel comfortable with Tesla Motors again.
     
  11. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    #11 TEG, Dec 1, 2007
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2007
    I have speculated as to Tesla's product plans, and possible partnerships, but I have tried to stay away from speculating about what sorts of personality and approach conflicts could be happening within the company.

    If those guys want to go on record someday with their view of things, great, but I don't think we should start any rumors about what might have been going on with the decision to replace Martin as CEO.

    I don't think the Roadster concept would have gotten this far without serious contributions and commitments from BOTH of those guys.
     
  12. malcolm

    malcolm Active Member

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    #12 malcolm, Dec 1, 2007
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2007
    Thank you Elon, for... er...being a multi-millionaire investor in lots of companies. Go you.

    I agree with donauker that Martin is the one who has taken the time to catch our imagination and get us involved with the Roadster project. Quite apart from his engneering input, the contributions from all of us here and on other sites would simply not exist without martin's efforts to devote time, energy and money to make the tesla motors blogs a reality.

    Which makes the news of his reduced involvement feel like a kick in the teeth for me personally.

    Wow! i am actually cut up about the treatment of a (former) auto executive!

    How weird is that!
     
  13. Martin

    Martin Tesla Founder

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    A word from Martin

    Yes it is true - I am no longer with Tesla Motors - neither on its Board of Directors nor an employee of any sort. I have also signed a non-disparagement agreement with Tesla, so I must. by contract, be a bit careful about how I word things.

    But I am also not going to lie about it. I am not at all happy with the way I was treated, and I do not think this was the very best way to handle a transition - not the best for Tesla Motors, not the best for Tesla's customers (to whom I still feel a strong sense of responsibility), and not for Tesla's investors.

    Silicon Valley has given us many examples of fast-growing startup companies that managed to find a home for its founders even as new management teams were brought in to manage the continued growth of the companies. Larry and Sergey over at Google are prime examples: they still drive the vision and technology of the company, and still define the public image of Google. But management of Google is now in the hands of seasoned professionals who know how to run and grow the company far beyond Larry and Sergey could have.

    But as Michael Marks likes to say, it is what it is. I am now part of Tesla's rather informal Advisory Board, and make myself available to Ze'ev, should he wish to avail himself of my experience. We shall see.

    Ze'ev is a bright and experienced guy. Unlike me, he's made a zillion dollars from his past ventures (MMI & Clifford) - so he has taken this position not for money. He's raced formula cars, and gets what a sports car should be. He seems to care a lot about global warming. As an Israeli, he is quite sensitive to the problem of oil dependency toward the Middle East. So I have reason to be hopeful, and I am motivated to see him succeed.

    For my part, I am a free man. I will probably spend the next 6 months thinking about my next venture. I still care about the things that concerned me 5 years ago, so I will look for another opportunity to contribute to solving the dual problems of global warming and oil dependency.

    Hopefully, I will begin posting my own blog at www.teslafounders.com. There's nothing up at that address yet, by maybe by New Years.

    Thanks for your support, Tesla fans.
    Martin
     
  14. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    You are still in line for one of the first production cars, I hope?

    That would bring you full circle, since you started all this because you wanted a car.
     
  15. BlackbirdHighway

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    TEG,

    OK, you're right about the speculation.

    Generally I agree, but in this case I was just a bit disturbed by this latest unexpected turn of events, and was searching for some sort of way to make sense of it.
     
  16. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Thanks for taking the time to comment here, Martin.

    I assume the non-disparagement agreement was offered as an incentive to let you keep your stock interest. It would be shameful if they stripped you of that after all you had done to get that venture started and noticed.

    I am also glad that you seem at least hopeful that Ze'ev can carry on some semblance of what you had in mind. I hope they can keep it together and pull it off even though they have left you behind.

    What I wonder now is how your friends and close associates will respond. I think some of them are customers and some are employees of Tesla. Will they bail out in response or just carry on even though you are pushed out?

    Also, we do wonder about founder series roadster #2. Currently I am assuming you will still get it, and will provide the company with valuable feedback on your experiences with the vehicle. Hopefully you can fully enjoy your roadster and take pride in it.
     
  17. Martin

    Martin Tesla Founder

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    You bet. Car number 2 is still mine - bought and paid for. Car number 1 would have been mine if I had my away - but then again, this is exactly the topic of this thread, isn't it?
     
  18. Martin

    Martin Tesla Founder

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    The good people of Tesla

    By the way, the whole Tesla crew in San Carlos threw me an unofficial going away party yesterday. It was absolutely amazing, and I left in tears. There are a whole lot of very, very good people at Tesla. Most of Tesla's employees joined because they deeply believe in Tesla's mission, not because it was some sort of savy career move. Their dedication to what was once just my crazy dream is a very rare thing indeed.

    Don't confuse management issues with the talent, dedication, and integrity of the majority of Tesla's people. These people are the main reason for my optimism about the future of Tesla. Maybe they don't know it yet, but they can do anything they put their minds to. Remember it is they, more than I, who are responsible for making the Roadster a reality. I just hope Ze'ev comes to understand this soon.
     
  19. Kardax

    Kardax Member

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    That's very encouraging :)

    -Ryan
     
  20. WarpedOne

    WarpedOne Mainecoon Butler

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    Martin:
    Sure it is engineers who figure out the details of how to do it. But it takes a visionary to say what to do and where to go. So far, the only real visionary at Tesla Motors was you. Without you, they are only very good engineers and management. Which will go where and do what? What looks least risky and most profitable. Those mentions of hybrid whitestar and generators all make sense now. My next car wont be Tesla. Sad.
     

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