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Marc Tarpenning
Born (1964-06-01) June 1, 1964 (age 60)
Alma mater University of California, Berkeley ( BA)
OccupationCo-founder of Tesla

Marc Tarpenning (born June 1, 1964) is an American engineer and technology entrepreneur who co-founded Tesla Inc. with Martin Eberhard in 2003. [1] [2] [3] [4] Tarpenning served as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Vice President of Engineering of Tesla. [5]

Early life

Marc Tarpenning was born in Sacramento, California, on June 1, 1964. [6] He attended the University of California, Berkeley, and obtained a B.A. degree in computer science in 1985. [7]


After graduating from Berkeley, Tarpenning spent several years working for Textron in Saudi Arabia. [7] [5] [8] Tarpenning then developed software and firmware products for several companies, including Seagate Technology and Bechtel, and later served as vice president of engineering at Packet Design, a network technology company. [6] In 1997, Tarpenning and Martin Eberhard founded NuvoMedia, a company that built an early e-book reader, the RocketBook, in 1998. [7] In 2000, Gemstar–TV Guide International acquired NuvoMedia for $187 million. [7] [9] [6] [8]

In 2003, Tarpenning and Martin Eberhard collaborated again and founded Tesla Motors (now Tesla Inc.). The two co-founders funded the company until early 2004, when Elon Musk led the company's $6.5 million Series A financing round in February 2004 and became the chairman of the board. [10] Tarpenning continued to serve as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and the Vice President of Electrical Engineering in Tesla until 2008. [5] [11]

After leaving Tesla, Tarpenning began to serve as an adviser or member of advisory board of several companies, including his alma mater (SkyDeck project, UC Berkeley) [7] [12] and Spero Ventures, a VC firm. [13]


  1. ^ "CNBC Interview with Tesla Founders Martin Eberhard and Marc Trapanning". CNBC.
  2. ^ "Marc Tarpenning – Engineer, Entrepreneur and Investor". Marc Tarpenning. Retrieved 2020-10-19.
  3. ^ "A Founder's Night: Hap Klopp & Marc Tarpenning – UC Berkeley Sutardja Center". UC Berkeley Sutardja Center. 2017-03-06. Retrieved 2017-11-13.
  4. ^ "Tesla Co-Founder Marc Tarpenning Tells Definitive Story Of Company's Beginnings | CleanTechnica". 23 June 2017. Retrieved 2017-11-13.
  5. ^ a b c "The Making Of Tesla: Invention, Betrayal, And The Birth Of The Roadster". Business Insider. Retrieved 2017-11-13.
  6. ^ a b c "Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning | American entrepreneurs". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2017-11-13.
  7. ^ a b c d e "Co-Founder Marc Tarpenning '85 Shows Off Tesla's "Baby Pictures" | Innovators". Retrieved 2017-11-13.
  8. ^ a b "Co-Founder of Tesla, Marc Tarpenning". Internet History Podcast. Retrieved 2017-11-13.
  9. ^ "Tesla's original team, where are they now?". Electrek. 2015-05-16. Retrieved 2017-11-13.
  10. ^ Kumparak, Greg. "A brief history of Tesla". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-11-13.
  11. ^ "Berkeley Innovators Series: Marc Tarpenning, Co-Founder of Tesla Motors". CITRIS Foundry. Retrieved 2017-11-15.
  12. ^ "SkyDeck | Advisors". Retrieved 2017-11-13.
  13. ^ Kolodny, Lora (2019-10-03). "Tesla co-founder Marc Tarpenning joins Pierre Omidyar's Spero Ventures". CNBC. Retrieved 2020-03-23.