In mid—March this year, Levandowski agreed to plead guilty to one count of stealing materials from Google to make other criminal charges go away. He apologized to his former colleagues in a statement:
“The last three and a half years have forced me to come to terms with what I did. I want to take this time to apologize to my colleagues at Google for betraying their trust, and to my entire family for the price they have paid and will continue to pay for my actions.”
Meanwhile, Waymo told TechCrunch in a statement that Levandowki’s actions “erases the contributions of many” and that Alsup’s decision “represents a win for trade secret laws that promote cutting-edge technology development.” The rest of the statement reads:
“Anthony Levandowski’s theft of autonomous technology trade secrets has been enormously disruptive and harmful to Waymo, constituted a betrayal, and the effects would likely have been even more severe had it gone undetected.”
Although the former Google employee apologized to his colleagues, TechCrunch learned that he recently filed a lawsuit against Waymo and Uber that could make him a very rich man. He claimed that when the companies settled, one of the terms they agreed upon was that he could never work for Uber again. As a result, the ride-hailing giant reneged on its promises when it acquired Otto, his self-driving truck startup.
Apparently, one of things Uber promised him was an earnout plan that would give him “a percent interest of billions in profit for Uber’s new trucking business.” Further, the lawsuit claims that he may not have been the only Google employee to steal trade secrets from the company. Levandowski is now asking for at least $4.128 billion, which he believes he would’ve earned from the earnouts he was promised.