Tesla CEO Elon Musk road to success is something worth looking into. Undoubtedly, the 48-year-old is the talk of the town these days with the American company market cap reaching $100 billion. It is a historic first for Tesla, earning more than forecasted earnings for the fourth quarter.
If the trend continues, Musk stands to earn a ridiculous compensation package that could be worth more than $55 billion. But looking back, the engineer and technology entrepreneur alleges that he did not want to be Tesla CEO in the beginning.
Appearing at the Third Row Tesla podcast, Musk seemingly did not expect to be where he is right now. In 2003, he was concentrating on building an electric sports car after doing a test drive on an electric car called tzero. Per his description, the said car did not have doors or a roof. In all, it was not a safe or reliable vehicle. AC Propulsion was the company behind the vehicle, and they had no plans of bringing the electric car to the market.
It was there when Musk seemed to have other things in mind. He got the permission of AC Propulsion founder Alan Cocconi and CEO Tom Gage to commercialize the tzero. Back then, the only notable hybrid electric vehicles were the Honda Insight and the Toyota Prius. It seemed like a perfect opportunity for him to hit the market and offer another variant.
The only problem then was Musk had a lot on his plate. He founded SpaceX a year earlier and was understandably not ready to start a new one. CNBC.com reports that he was already working 80 hours and Musk had no plans of doubling that. Gage would advise Musk to approach Tesla Motors, who was interested in commercializing the tzero.
When all was settled, Tesla just got rolling. But the question then was who should be CEO. Per Musk, he was made to choose from the co-founders. The names of Martin Eberhard and Ian Wright were singled out as his preference. The former was the guy Musk eventually went with.
Wright begged to differ, saying that Eberhard was already CEO when Musk came in. There were allegedly no discussions on the CEO, adding Musk said he would be chairman of the board. Though there are different claims, Eberhard and Wright eventually parted Tesla for various reasons. Musk turned out to be the logical guy, the last man standing to run things. And as most see now, it looks like that it turned out to be a blessing in disguise.