Larry Page does not seem to have much idea of how things work on Google
Earlier this year we met the demand for Waymo (Google) to Uber, accusing them of having stolen secret information to develop autonomous cars.
In July, they cited Larry Page (founder of Google) to testify, something that Waymo said was “unnecessary and invasive.” Anyway, a federal judge in San Francisco ignored these complaints and a few hours ago the first meeting was held.
The trial focuses on Anthony Levandowski, an engineer who worked at Google and who left the company to assemble Otto (a rival company bought by Uber in August 2016). Levandowski is believed to have stolen 14,000 confidential documents from Google, detailing the hardware that the company is using to develop its autonomous cars.
Google lawyers have provided documents that allegedly show that Travis Kalanick, until recently Uber’s CEO, knew that those stolen documents existed when he bought Otto.
Things do not seem to have gone as expected, and since Uber have asked for more time to continue asking things to Larry Page, as this seems not to know too much about this matter.
Based on the answers you have offered, it seems that you have not been making many decisions in this area of the company. If we look at the transcript of his statements, Page seems to know very little of everything that happened:
Uber: Are you not familiar with the details about the trade secrets that are in question today?
Uber: You do not know, for example, which of those secrets were improperly appropriated by Uber?
Page: No, I do not know.
Uber: You do not remember, sitting here today, when you knew that Uber could have improperly obtained Google or Waymo secrets. It is right?
Page: It’s correct.
Uber: And do not you remember how you found out about it?
Page: Yes, it is correct.
He also does not remember the generous bonuses he offered in the past to Anthony Levandowski:
Uber: Anthony Levandowski received a bonus that exceeded 120 million dollars, right?
Page: I do not remember the exact amount, but it could be true.
Uber: Do you remember if it exceeded 100 million dollars?
Page: I remember it was a lot
It does not even seem to remember if someone in Google received a bonus over 100 million dollars :
Uber: Can you think of another Google employee who received a bonus of 100 million dollars for something specific?
Page: We have paid a lot of money to a lot of Google employees. I do not remember the exact amounts. People have earned a lot more money than that by being part of Google, including myself.
He has trouble remembering the name of the ranch he invited (or maybe not)to Anthony Levandowski:
Uber: Sometimes Levandowski visited his home, is that true?
Page: I do not remember that, but it’s possible.
Uber: Do you have a ranch as property?
Uber: What’s your name?
Page: I’m not sure which one you’re referring to, it should give me more context.
Did you hear about things thanks to the press ?
Uber: Do you know that Waymo is suing Uber for infringing some of his patents?
Page: I know it’s part of the trial.
Uber: Do you know that Waymo has dismissed three of the four patents?
Page: Yes, I’ve read it in the press.
Uber: What is the patent that remains?
Page: I have no idea.
It does not seem to know how Google stores sensitive information , such as source code:
Uber: Do you know how Google usually stores things? For example the source code, materials and design specifications, etc.
Page: I’m not familiar with how it’s done.
Uber: There is an online repository, did you know that?
Page: There is some type of repository for code.
As we can see, Page seems to have many gaps in everything that happened with Waymo and how things work on Google. For all these reasons, Uber has requested that he declare again, this time with more specific answers.
As if that were not enough, the judge has already made it clear that Sergey Brin (the other founder of Google) “would better appear” to give testimony.