Former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick shed more light on why he wanted to hire Anthony Levandowski, the engineer accused of stealing trade secrets from Waymo, the self-driving car company owned by Google parent Alphabet.
Kalanick's testimony came as part of the dramatic trade secrets trial between Uber and Waymo that is happening this week in San Francisco.
"I wanted to hire Anthony and he wanted to start a company, so I tried to come up with a situation where he could feel like he started a company and I could feel like I hired him," Kalanick said on the stand Tuesday afternoon.
Through testimony and presentations over last two days, Waymo's lawyers have tried to show how desperate Uber was to catch up to Google's self-driving car efforts and how Kalanick believed that Levandowski could provide a big advantage to closing that gap.
During proceedings on Tuesday, Kalanick admitted that Levandowski met at Uber's office in late 2015, before Levandowski left Waymo to start self-driving truck company Otto. Kalanick confirmed the two of them discussed the possibility of Uber acquiring his company, even though no business existed at that time. Kalanick saying it was either "late 2015 or early 2016"
Notes from John Bares, Uber's engineering manager, during a meeting with Kalanick suggest Kalanick wanted "IP" or intellectual property from the acquisition of Levandowski's company.