Uber has fired senior engineer Anthony Levandowski after he refused to return allegedly stolen documents to his previous employer Waymo, which is owned by Google parent Alphabet.
“Alphabet and Waymo have accused Uber and Otto of stealing Waymo’s trade secrets and intellectual property, and of infringing on patents related to lidar, a technology that autonomous vehicles use to ‘see,’” explained Business Insider this month. “Waymo is accusing Levandowski of downloading more than 14,000 files while working for the company in 2015 and taking them with him. But Levandowski is refusing to let the devices that might contain the files be searched, asserting his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.”
Following a lawsuit from Google parent Alphabet, Uber gave Levandowski an ultimatum: return the documents to Waymo or face termination.
“The New York Times reported first on Levandowski’s firing, which was made official to employees via an internal staff email circulated on Tuesday,” announced Tech Crunch this week. “Uber confirmed via a spokesperson that Levandowski was terminated following months of the company attempting to have him comply with and assist its own internal investigation into the matter, and had set a clear deadline for him to do so.”
“Uber also noted that Eric Meyhofer, who stepped in when Levandowski was removed from his role leading ATG in April, will continue to lead the team and take over Levandowski’s direct reports,” they continued.