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Uber’s self-driving head is moving away from his role during its legal battle with Alphabet

Anthony Levandowski is being replaced by Eric Meyehofer 'for the remainder of the Waymo litigation.'

Anthony Levandowski, Otto Co-founder and VP of Engineering at Uber.
Angela Merendino | AFP | Getty Images
Anthony Levandowski, Otto Co-founder and VP of Engineering at Uber.

Anthony Levandowski, the head of Uber's self-driving efforts, is stepping away from his role "through the remainder of the Waymo litigation," according to a letter that he sent to staff.

Business Insider first reported the change. Uber confirmed his decision to Recode.

Levandowski, who joined Uber after the ride-hail company acquired his self-driving startup Otto in August 2016, will no longer be managing the company's autonomous vehicle efforts, including the development of the radars that Alphabet is accusing him of stealing the designs for.

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According to the email, Eric Meyehofer, an engineering lead, will now be the head of the department. Levandowski will now be reporting to Meyehofer.

"As you know, I currently don't provide input on detailed LiDAR design choices," Levandowski wrote. "But making this organizational change means I will have absolutely no oversight over or input into our LiDAR work. Going forward, please make sure not to include me in meetings or email threads related to LiDAR, or ask me for advice on the topic."

Levandowski is at the center of a lawsuit levied against Uber by his former employer, Alphabet. The company alleges Levandowski stole 14,000 documents before leaving to start Otto.

By Johana Bhuiyan, Recode.net.

CNBC's parent NBCUniversal is an investor in Recode's parent Vox, and the companies have a content-sharing arrangement.

Watch: Court docs reveal $120 million payout for Levandowski