- Tesla CEO Elon Musk called Martin Eberhard, one of the electric-car maker’s founders and its first CEO “the worst person I’ve ever worked with” in an interview with the “Third Row Tesla” podcast.
- Eberhard said Musk’s comments amounted to a breach of a nondisparagement agreement between the two.
- Musk and Eberhard have disagreed about whether Musk was one of Tesla’s founders.
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“He is literally the worst person I’ve ever worked with,” Musk said.
“This podcast, along with Musk’s recent attacks against me on Twitter, are absolute breaches of his and Tesla’s mutual non-disparagement agreements with me,” Eberhard told Business Insider, appearing to refer to a tweet Musk published and later deleted last year. “Despite his breaches of contract, I will refrain from doing the same.”
Neither Tesla nor Musk responded to requests for comment.
Eberhard was demoted from the CEO role at Tesla in 2007 and left the company later that year. He sued Musk in 2009, accusing Musk of committing libel and slander against him while Eberhard was bound by a nondisparagement agreement that prevented him from responding. Musk denied the allegations in Eberhard’s lawsuit and the two eventually settled, with each praising the other in a press release.
Musk and Eberhard have disagreed about Tesla’s origins. In his 2009 lawsuit, Eberhard said he and Marc Tarpenning started Tesla and successfully pitched Musk on becoming an early investor. Musk said in his response that he had intended to find a commercial use for electric-vehicle technology created by AC Propulsion, and had been pointed toward Eberhard and Tarpenning as possible business partners.
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