Credit Tony Avelar/Associated Press
It seems there is no such thing as an uneventful week for Uber. On Tuesday, the company fired embattled engineer Anthony Levandowski, who came to the ride-hailing outfit through last year’s acquisition of the self-driving vehicle start-up Otto.
That Uber parted ways with Mr. Levandowski should not have been a surprise. He is at the center of a lawsuit filed against Uber by Waymo, the self-driving car division of Google’s parent company, Alphabet. Waymo accused Mr. Levandowski of stealing product documents when he left the company to start Otto and that the product plans in those documents had been used in Uber’s products.
Uber denied the accusations and asked that Mr. Levandowski produce whatever documents he had to prove that Uber’s technology and Waymo’s were unconnected. So far, Mr. Levandowski has refused, citing his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination. For Uber, it was increasingly clear that in order to protect the company, it would have cut to ties with its star engineer.
Next up: Eric H. Holder Jr., the former United States attorney general, is expected as soon as Wednesday to provide Uber’s board with the findings of a long-awaited report on the company’s culture. The results of the report are expected to be made public next week.