I spoke to Tesla Motors Vice President of Marketing Darryl Siry a short time ago and among other things he provided further clarification of the situation with Martin Eberhard. What he told me was that this change had been planned for some time. It's normal practice at start-up companies like Tesla for the founder to step aside from the top slot as the company grows. People who create companies like this are typically visionaries with an idea about what they want to create, but don't necessarily want to run all the day to day operations of a company once it grows up.
There are of course exceptions like Jeff Bezos who continues to run Amazon.com. The more common scenario is that of Google where they brought in Eric Schmidt to run the show while Larry Page and Sergey Brin focus on other projects. As Tesla has grown rapidly over the past year and a half with the upcoming launch of the Roadster and the development of the future WhiteStar and BlueStar, Martin Eberhard wants to focus on a successful launch and further development of his baby. Meanwhile Michael Marks has experience running a $19 billion company and has agreed to step in until a suitable permanent CEO can be found. Right now all is still well at Tesla, if hectic, and Martin's move is not a sign of trouble.

[Editor's note: Tesla's Elon Musk has put out an official statement on the CEO switch, which you can read here.]

[Source: Tesla Motors]


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