This time around, all references to Martin were promptly removed from the management team listing on the Tesla site. As you might expect, Martin's contract with Tesla prohibits him from making disparaging remarks about the company. As a result Martin has made a discrete yet telling statement on the Tesla Motors Club discussion forum. Martin didn't leave voluntarily and wasn't too thrilled with the way things went down. In the comments from the previous post about Martin's departure it appears a number of other people have left recently. Hopefully this is not a sign of how things will be happening moving forward at Tesla. You can see Martin Eberhard's comment after the jump and follow the whole discussion thread at the Tesla Motors Club forum.
[Source: Tesla Motors Club]
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.
Tesla Motors Founder