Ridesharing company Lyft is suing a former employee for allegedly stealing secret documents before joining archrival Uber, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Travis VanderZanden, Lyft’s former chief operating officer, downloaded private financial and product information to his Dropbox account when he left Lyft, the startup alleges in its complaint. He also tried to recruit other Lyft employees to defect to Uber, according to Lyft’s complaint. VanderZanden is now Uber’s vice president of international growth.
“We are disappointed to have to take this step, but this unusual situation has left us no choice but to take the necessary legal action to protect our confidential information,” Lyft spokesperson Paige Thelen said an emailed statement.
Lyft and Uber have had a contentious rivalry that has involved cribbing new features from one another and even ordering rides on competitors’ apps just to immediately cancel them. The two companies, along with a handful of other startups, are fighting to to disrupt urban transportation by letting users quickly hail rides via a mobile app instead of trying to find a taxi on the street.
Uber did not respond to an email seeking comment on the lawsuit.