The ex-chief of Uber Technologies Inc.’s self-driving technology unit has been ordered to pay $179 million to his former employer Google to settle a contract dispute regarding the theft of trade secrets.
Anthony Levandowski, an engineer who played a key role in Google’s self-driving car program before joining Uber, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Wednesday after he was ordered to pay $179 million in damages to Google over his theft of trade secrets.
According to the August 2019 federal indictment, Levandowski downloaded engineering, manufacturing and business files from Google’s Light Detecting and Ranging engineering team’s database.
“All of us have the right to change jobs. None of us has the right to fill our pockets on the way out the door,” US Attorney David Anderson said in a release issued by the US Department of Justice. “Theft is not innovation.”
Levandowski, on the other hand, was fired from Uber in 2017 and may not receive financial assistance from the company. According to his bankruptcy filing, while Levandowski has somewhere between $50 million to $100 million in assets, he is faced with $100 million to $500 million in liabilities.