As the Waymo’s lawsuit against Uber continues in court, more details have emerged as people take the stand to give their version of the story. One of them reveals about what happened even before Anthony Levandowski stole 14,000 files from Google’s servers (now Waymo) and decided to create his own truck driving startup.
Chris Urmson, Google’s former self-driving car chief, said in a deposition that during the time, he could see that Levandowski was frustrated. Even Urmson himself was frustrated with Levandowski as Levandowski had shown signs that he wasn’t at all interested in work, tried to manipulate people around the project and enthusiasm and commitment to the project was at an all-time low. Urmson said in an email that Levandowski should be fired. All of this was in August 2015.
To make matters worse, Urmson heard from two sources that Levandowski was approaching team members saying that he is trying to gather a group who would be loyal to him to leave en masse to join Uber. In court, Uber’s point of argument points to the rocky relationship that Levandowski had with Google (now Waymo) over a $120 million bonus but now it shows that Levandowski already had a deal in the works with Uber to buy over his proposed startup, Otto.
Uber reportedly bought over Levandowski’s startup Otto, for more than $600 million in August 2016. The trial continues next month in court.