The lawsuit alleges that Robinson conspired with another former Uber executive, Dmitri Izmailov, who headed Uber’s Russia operations until he left the ride-sharing company in 2018, and assisted Robinson’s efforts to pilfer Vanguard’s confidential information. Although Izmailov is not named as a defendant, he appears as an officer and co-founder of copycat company, Beacon.
The allegations against the two former Uber executives bear a striking similarity to allegations at the heart of an unrelated 2017 lawsuit filed against Uber by Waymo, a self-driving technology company, that accused Uber of working with an insider to steal its trade secrets. The two sides settled in early 2018 after Uber agreed to give Waymo $245 million worth of Uber shares.
Robinson’s decision to leave Uber was part of top management exodus that began in 2017 following the exit of former CEO and co-founder Kalanick.