The arrangement also comes with a financial arrangement of roughly $244 million in stock that is 0.34 percent of Uber’s equity, estimated at its Series G-1 round, which gave the company a $72 billion valuation.
An early morning observation was released from Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi regarding the settlement, which Khosrowshahi said was around finding a way to “set the course for the future of the organization.”
Khosrowshahi said that he did not consider that any trade secrets really made their way from Google’s self-driving car presentation into Uber’s nascent efforts. “But the probability that a couple of Waymo employees may have inappropriately solicited others to join Otto, and that they may have possibly left with Google files in their hold, in retrospect, raised some hard questions,” Khosrowshahi wrote.
A spokesperson for Waymo said:
We have reached an agreement with Uber that we maintain and will protect Waymo’s intellectual property now and into the prospect. We are dedicated to working with Uber to make sure that each company develops its own technology. This includes an understanding to ensure that any Waymo private information is not being included in Uber Advanced Technologies Group hardware and software. We have always considered competition should be fueled by the discovery in the labs and on the roads and we look ahead to bringing fully self-driving cars to the world.
The full text of Khosrowshahi’s statement is below:
My job as Uber’s CEO is to set the plan for the future of the company: innovating and growing responsibly, as well as confirming and correcting mistakes of the past. In doing so, I want to state regret for the lives that have caused me to write this letter.
To our employees, in particular, the great and gifted people of Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group: I am motivated by your passion and responsibility to bringing self-driving vehicles to life. Over the last year, you’ve been sidetracked from your mission. For that I am sorry.
But the prospect that a few of Waymo employees may have inappropriately solicited others to join Otto, and that they may have probably left with Google files in their possession, in retrospect, raised some hard questions.
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