Elon Musk, Tesla’s chief executive, on Sunday dismissed allegations that he had “stolen” the carmaker from founder Martin Eberhard. Musk claimed that if I had stolen Tesla, there should have been a lot of employees following him when Heberhardt left, but that wasn’t the case.
Musk made the clarification in response to a @enn_nafnlaus twitter user’s tweets from Twitter users. Eberhard founded Tesla, the user wrested, saying “Musk stole Tesla from him.” Musk responded: “In mid-2007, when Eberhard was ousted as Tesla’s chief executive for providing false information to me and the board, no one followed him, and that’s enough.”
Musk also called the Wikipedia description of Eberhard “very sketchy” and claimed it glorified his role. Wikipedia’s terms about Tesla show that the company was founded in 2003 by engineers Martin Eberhardt and Marc Tarpenning, Elon Musk, Ian Wright and J. J.B. Straubel is the next three employees to join. The 3 were later allowed to list as co-founders under a 2009 lawsuit settlement.
On Tesla’s Wikipedia page, a 2009 article also referred to a lawsuit filed by Eberhard accusing Musk of trying to rewrite Tesla’s history after he was ousted as chief executive in 2007. The lawsuit reportedly resulted in an agreement to recognize Tesla as having five founders.
On a podcast discussing Tesla’s early history in February, Musk called Eberhard “the worst person I’ve ever worked with.” In response, Eberhard said Musk’s comments on the podcast violated a non-demeaning agreement. “This podcast, coupled with Musk’s recent attacks on me on Twitter, is a complete violation of the non-demeaning agreement he and Tesla have reached with me,” he said. “
Musk was also critical of Wikipedia, saying in August: “History is written by the victors, except Wikipedia. Musk then “begged” fans on Twitter to abuse him on Wikipedia, causing his page to be locked down.