Tesla Motors founders: Now there are five

Ousted Tesla CEO Martin Eberhard, who sued Tesla, arrives at a resolution with the company over who can claim the "co-founder" title at the electric vehicle maker.

Martin LaMonica Former Staff writer, CNET News
Martin LaMonica is a senior writer covering green tech and cutting-edge technologies. He joined CNET in 2002 to cover enterprise IT and Web development and was previously executive editor of IT publication InfoWorld.
Martin LaMonica

Tesla Motors and co-founder Martin Eberhard announced an agreement over who can claim to be a founder of the company on Monday.

Tesla founder Martin Eberhard on the road with his Tesla Roadster. Martin Eberhard

Eberhard filed suit against the luxury electric vehicle maker in June, alleging that current CEO Elon Musk sought to "rewrite history" about Eberhard's role after Eberhard was ousted from the CEO position. Eberhard was seeking damages because comments from Tesla executives had harmed his reputation.

On Monday, a Tesla representative said that Eberhard and other principals in the dispute have come to an agreement. The company did not reveal any details of the resolution, except to say that there are now five, rather than two, agreed-upon "founders" of Tesla.

In addition to Eberhard, other founders include current CEO and chief product architect Elon Musk, current chief technology JB Straubel, Marc Tarpenning, and Ian Wright.

Both Eberhard and Musk, who have bickered publicly and through the courts, issued statements praising each others' contributions to Tesla.

An out-of-court resolution appeared to be Eberhard's best option for repairing his reputation after a San Mateo, Calif., judge in July dismissed that portion of his suit.