Uber has fired Anthony Levandowski, the engineer who started and sold self0driving truck startup Otto to Uber for over $650m as it tries to clean its name from a Google-Waymo court battle.
The dismissal has had a negative effect on Uber’s HR policies and might lead to a huge PR disaster for the firm which has been struggling in the past to portray Travis Kalanick in good light after several accusations about feminism and his loose anger which makes Uber a not so friendly working place. The firm’s SEO teams will be busy to counter every negative link online as well.
The dismal also puts Uber’s self-driving technology in jeopardy as firing the engineer shows the firm is guilty after all and it will have to give up the technology for Google or pay up. If it doesn’t win the lawsuit, the $70 billion worth firm will struggle to continue with its self-driving project and it might struggle to get technical talent to run the department. However, Kalanick might pull off anything and this might not be a big issue to him at all even as he grieves the loss of his mum after a boat ride accident last week.
Mr. Levandowski is regretting selling his firm to Uber in a stock and revenue share deal and he is also regretting not cooperating with Uber to hand over evidence to help Uber win the lawsuit against its investor Google. Uber says its autonomous car tech is independent and saw that the continued presence of the engineer would tarnish its already evil name.