Tesla Roadster Birth Watch 8: Eberhardly A Happy Camper

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

So Tesla has a new CEO: Z'ev Drori. Drori made his money back in the '70's founding and running Monolithic Memories, a producer of bipolar PROMS (nothing to do with Steven King's Carrie). Drori sold out and acquired Clifford Electronics, maker of car alarms. That worked out pretty well, with Drori eventually flogging the built-up biz to Allstate Insurance. We hear he's a pretty good race car driver. ANYWAY… Drori's appointment completes the ouster of Tesla founder Martin Eberhard, who's none too happy that his as-yet-unborn baby has been taken away by the suits. Although Martin's banned from saying squat about his predicament thanks to a "non-disparagement agreement," ships are sinking upon his loose lips. "I am not at all happy with the way I was treated," Eberhard whines on the unaffiliated Tesla Motor Club forum. "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." And not for Martin's bank balance, apparently. "Ze'ev is a bright and experienced guy. Unlike me, he's made a zillion dollars from his past ventures…" In an ironic echo of his work for Tesla, Eberhard promises to post his true feelings on his new blog teslafounders.com– which doesn't even have a placeholder page. Meanwhile, no word from Drori when the first Tesla customer gets theirs (so to speak).

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Stein X Leikanger Stein X Leikanger on Dec 04, 2007

    As I've been skeptical since the first announcement, rest assured that my surprise is nil over this. I keep seeing similar claims being made in many areas: "We will have to conserve energy, but we won't need to change a thing due to the magic of XYZ." It reminds me of "Good, Fast and Cheap. You can have two, but not all three." Though in the case of the Tesla it was "Dangerous, Fast and Ridiculously overpriced" - and you got the package.

  • 210delray 210delray on Dec 04, 2007

    No surprise here either. As I said earlier, this is another Bricklin or DeLorean in the making. Except none may be made in this case.

  • Ajla Ajla on Dec 04, 2007

    Eberhard's job was within his reach, it is not any longer fully within his grasp.

  • Stuki Stuki on Dec 05, 2007

    With a quite probable recession looming, this is really not the time to be shopping around for additional funding for risky projects aimed at big spenders, either; assuming Tesla needs that, of course. I certainly hope they can pull it off. It seems like a cool car, and the car business, especially here in the US, could use some of that startup chutzpah.