Ex-Google Engineer Files for Bankruptcy after Being Ordered to Pay $179 Million to Google

Anthony Lewandowski was Found Guilty of Violating Terms of His Employment Contract

Uber Technologies Inc’s former top engineer, Anthony Lewandowski, has filed for bankruptcy after being ordered by a California court to pay $179 million to Google for contract violation.

The French-American self-driving car engineer who co-founded Otto, an autonomous trucking company, was found guilty of violating his employment agreement with Google.

The contract stipulated that Levandowski was not to engage in “any other employment, occupation or consulting directly related to” any businesses Google was working on. The contract also demanded that Levandowski was not supposed to “encourage, induce [or] solicit” any Google employee to leave the company.

Neel Chatterjee, an attorney at Goodwin Proctor LLP, said his client had no option but to file for bankruptcy as he pursues the relief he is legally entitled to.

In the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing submitted on Wednesday, March 4, Levandowski listed his assets at between $50 million and $100 million.

The engineer was at the center of a 2017 dispute between Uber and Google. Levandowski was accused by Google for downloading confidential files including those of Google’s self-driving car project – Waymo – to a personal hard drive.

He resigned shortly after and founded Otto, which was later purchased by Uber for nearly $700 million.

The engineer was later fired by Uber in May 2017 after allegedly failing to cooperate with an internal investigation into Google’s claims.

Lior Ron, the co-founder of Otto, who was also found guilty of breach of contract with Google and for engaging in unfair competition, stayed with Uber and recently settled with Google for $9.7 million.

Uber later paid Google about $244 million to settle the case in 2018.