Uber Spars With Kalanick Intelligence Guys in Waymo Saga Reprise

(Bloomberg) -- Uber Technologies Inc. escalated a legal showdown with four former members of its corporate intelligence team whose surveillance tactics on rival companies were thrust into the spotlight in the Waymo trade-secret theft case.

Key Insights

  • Uber’s complaint Wednesday in San Francisco state court accusing the four men of breaching their contract by taking confidential records is a pre-emptive strike after they showed the company a draft of a lawsuit they were preparing to file against Uber.
  • Any public feuding with members of former Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick’s global Strategic Services Group under may complicate the ride-hailing giant’s effort to clean up its reputation ahead of a planned initial public offering.
  • The four -- Mathew Henley, Nicholas Gicinto, Edward Russo and Jacob Nocon -- are already suing a former colleague-turned-whistle blower for defamation, claiming Ric Jacobs damaged their reputations last year making allegations of unethical conduct inside the surveillance unit. A federal judge is weighing Jacobs’s request for dismissal of the complaint.

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