We finally know what it takes to get fired at Uber.
No, not allegedly propositioning your subordinates for sex, but pleading the Fifth Amendment in a massive court case in which you’re accused of stealing Google’s self-driving car technology and bringing it to Uber.
So reports The New York Times, which notes that the news of Anthony Levandowski’s ousting was delivered to Uber employees Tuesday in a companywide email written by Uber Associate General Counsel Angela Padilla.
Over the last few months Uber has provided significant evidence to the court to demonstrate that our self-driving technology has been built independently, reads the message obtained by the paper. Over that same period, Uber has urged Anthony to fully cooperate in helping the court get to the facts and ultimately helping to prove our case.
Levandowski’s axing is effective immediately.
An Uber spokesperson confirmed the shake-up to Mashable, and insisted that Levandowski forced the company’s hand. The spokesperson explained that the company had been trying to get Levandowski to comply with an internal investigation into the alleged theft for some time now, and that he allowed some sort of internal deadline to pass.
Basically, the official Uber line is that this firing is on him.
Levandowski worked for Google’s self-driving car unit before quitting and founding another self-driving vehicle company by the name of Otto. Otto was later acquired by Uber, and Google spun its autonomous vehicle division off into Waymo. It is Waymo that is suing Uber for the alleged theft of trade secrets by Levandowski.
Uber denies Waymo’s allegations, but is clearly no longer willing to tolerate Levandowski either way.