Anthony Levandowski, the former Google engineer at the center of Waymo and Uber’s legal battle, has been fired. This termination comes due to his continued refusal to cooperate in proceedings over whether the ride-sharing service stole Alphabet’s self-driving technology.
First reported by the New York Times, Uber announced the firing of its vice president of technology in an internal email to employees today. Levandowski has long been ordered by a federal judge to hand over related evidence and testimony during recent hearings.
Throughout the process, Uber has maintained that its self-driving technology did not copy Google’s earlier work. The company wanted Levandowski to cooperate in order to help with the case. However, the engineer cited his Fifth Amendment rights to avoid possible incrimination.
With this firing, effective immediately, it’s clear that Uber was unsuccessful in doing so. In late April, Levandowski was removed from self-driving efforts and moved to another role at the company.
Levandowski is accused of stealing information from 14,000 pages worth of documents related to Google’s self-driving technology before he left to build his own start-up, which was later purchased by Uber. At issue is whether Uber’s current efforts and progress are due to and built on Google’s achievements.