Martin Forest Eberhard is an engineer, Silicon Valley entrepreneur, and inventor. With Marc Tarpenning, he co-founded Tesla, Inc. (formerly Tesla Motors). In 2003, he was its founding President, and until the end of 2007, he served as its CEO.
Eberhard began a career with Wyse Technology as an electrical engineer, which he built the WY-30 ASCII computer terminal as his first product. In 1987, Eberhard co-founded Network Computing Devices, where he was chief engineer through its IPO in 1992 and developed several successful products, including network terminals for the X Window System.
1996 saw the foundation of the Rocket EBook, the first eBook that contains secure web distribution of content, NuvoMedia, with Marc Tarpenning. Until Gemstar acquired NuvoMedia in 2000, Eberhard served as Chairman and CEO.
Eberhard's passion for sports automobiles, oil import dependency, and global warming prompted him to start the first vehicle firm from Silicon Valley that manufactured an AC Propulsion tzero prototype. In 2003, Eberhard co-founded Tesla Motors (with Marc Tarpenning) as the first CEO in San Carlos, California. The guiding concepts of Eberhard were:
(1) the electric automobile was not to be a compromise. It is conceivable to develop electric cars that are better than their competition with the correct technical choices.
2) The key to a successful electric car is battery technology. Not only are ion lithium batteries viable for use in vehicles; they are changing games and making a respectable range reality.
3) When developed correctly, even the most severe car enthusiasts can be attracted by electric cars since electric cars can severely exceed internal combustion engines. Eberhard is driving Tesla Motors, Founder's second Roadsters series automobile, Tesla Roadster's first series (2008). The Tesla Roadster is a 244 miles (393 km) (EPA) battery-electric automobile.
 In December 2007, Fortune magazine claimed that Elon Musk requested Martin. Musk indicated that he had not seen any place for Eberhard in an interview owing to ideological differences.  The New York Times stated on January 7 2008, that Tesla Motors made a declaration that Martin Eberhard, the co-founder and previous CEO, "went from the board of directors and managers of the firm to the advisory board."
Eberhard added that while he signed a no-disclosure agreement with Tesla, it was not thrilled with the transfer, "so I have to be a little careful by contract about how I'm saying things."
Eberhard condemned Tesla's dismissals in his since-suppressed blog Tesla Founders.
Eberhard filed in June 2009 a claim for libel, defamation and breach of contract against Elon Musk, stating that Musk had driven him out of the firm, publicly disappointed him and jeopardized the financial condition of Tesla. For unrevealed reasons, Eberhard quit the trial in August 2009. A speaker from Tesla refused to comment on the adjustment, which increased the chances of a settlement. Tesla disclosed the compensation in September 2009 but gave no other details.
In a CNBC interview in October 2019, Eberhard revealed that he is still Tesla's shareholder and that his success is still rooting.
Martin was born on May 15, 1960, and received a BS in Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1982 and an MS in Electrical Engineering from the same school in 1984. In 2015, he was inducted into the University of Illinois Engineering Hall of Fame. He married Carolyn, whom he met at Illinois University, where they have been annual benefactors at the College of Engineering at the university since 1984.
Martin mentioned discussing his new venture with his girlfriend (and now wife), Carolyn. He wanted his company to be a game-changer, and he wanted the name to convey that message. For months he pitched different name ideas to his girlfriend, but nothing seemed to fit. When Martin was sitting down at Blue Bayou restaurant at Disneyland, the name Tesla struck him, and the rest is now history.