Lyft sues former COO who moved to Uber

Travis VanderZanden, now a vice president at Uber, is charged with uploading confidential Lyft data to his personal Dropbox account

Ride-sharing platform Lyft has sued its former COO, Travis VanderZanden, for allegedly breaching a confidentiality agreement, charging that he uploaded company documents to a personal Dropbox account before joining rival operator Uber.

In the suit filed in California, San Francisco-based Lyft also alleges that VanderZanden, who is now vice president of international growth at Uber, violated the confidentiality agreement by breaching a provision that prohibited him from joining a competitor without Lyft's express written consent.

The charges of deceit and betrayal against VanderZanden reflect the heated and bitter competition between the two companies. On Twitter, VanderZanden wrote that "Lyft's PR has lost it, the allegations in their complaint are ridiculous."

In a complaint in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of San Francisco, Lyft said VanderZanden became COO of the company after it purchased his mobile car-washing company in March last year primarily to hire its team.

As COO, VanderZanden had access to confidential and sensitive information including financial data, forecasts, and information on strategic plans and products planned by Lyft.

He is accused of transferring more than 98,000 files and folders to a personal Dropbox account before announcing his resignation. Some of the documents contained confidential Lyft information such as the company's per-quarter roadmap for 2014, a confidential presentation summarizing Lyft's growth through 2013 with key metrics such as per-city revenue, ride and performance analysis and product updates and plans, and a spreadsheet with financial forecasts through December 2016.

VanderZanden is also charged with selling his iPhone, which could have contained confidential information, "to cover his tracks."

VanderZanden did not turn in his laptop to Lyft after his last day of employment on Aug. 15, and also broke off without notice negotiations with company co-founders, Logan Green and John Zimmer, according to the complaint, a copy of which was obtained by TechCrunch.

Lyft claims to have found out that the documents were misappropriated after a forensic analysis of the company laptop that was retrieved from VanderZanden some days after he left the company.

The company also claims that VanderZanden refused to sign a termination agreement which would have contracted him to continue to keep the company's documents confidential. He is also charged with breaking an agreement not to solicit Lyft employees for one year after leaving the company.

Lyft is asking the court to prevent VanderZanden from retaining or sharing the data with third parties, including Uber and its employees.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags business issueslegalpersonnelUberLyft

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?