A co-founder of Otto, the motor carrier company acquired by Uber in 2016, left the company according to CNBC. Lior Ron co-founded Otto (née Ottomotto) with Anthony Levandowski in 2016, shortly before it was acquired by Uber, a move that was at the center of the recent Waymo v. Trial. Uber Ron has served as head of Uber Freight, the transportation arm of the company since the acquisition. A familiar source with the situation confirmed the departure of Ron to The Verge.
Uber declined to comment on the details of Ron's departure. "We remain fully interested and excited about the future of Uber Freight," said an email spokesperson. "We believe it will continue to grow as we use our network and our technology to transform the trucking industry."
Ron left a position at Google in 2016 to found Otto with Levandowski. He was not so central in the trial of Waymo v. Uber as his co-founder, but he did appear sometimes. A due diligence report conducted by the security firm Stroz Friedberg that appeared in the trial showed that Ron sought "how to secretly remove the mac files" a day before leaving Google. An editorial error in another presentation revealed that Google had pursued an arbitration suit against Ron, alleging that he (and Levandowski) improperly mistreated Otto's employees.
The news of Ron's departure comes less than two weeks after one of Uber's self-directed test cars killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona. The company stopped all testing of its automatic driving technology after the crash and decided not to renew its test permits in California. Uber was also officially suspended by the Arizona governor from testing earlier this week. The Guardian newspaper discovered that the company secretly operated its self-driving tests in Arizona months before the program was made public.