FORMER LYFT COO SPEAKS OUT: I Didn't Take Secret Lyft Documents To Uber

Travis VanderZandenLinkedInTravis VanderZanden.

In an increasingly tense startup rivalry, Lyft is suing its former COO Travis VanderZanden, who now works for Uber, where he oversees the company’s international growth. VanderZanden went to Uber in October

Lyft says VanderZanden allegedly downloaded a bunch of confidential Lyft documents to his personal Dropbox account back in August, before he and Lyft parted ways.

The documents contained sensitive information about the company, including financial data, customer data, and future company plans. 

On Thursday, VanderZanden spoke out on Twitter against the allegations in a flurry of messages. He says the allegations against him are an “audacious attack on my reputation.”

He also says the Lyft cofounders gave him access to see the documents mentioned in the lawsuit, and that he revoked his own access to the documents after he left Lyft and before he started working for Uber.

On Wednesday, a Lyft spokesperson provided Business Insider with the following statement:

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. We are incredibly proud of the dedicated and people-powered culture that we’ve fostered to support drivers, passengers and the entire Lyft community and we will not tolerate this type of behaviour.

VanderZanden is not the only executive who has defected from Lyft to Uber. Art Henry, a former VP of data engineering, also left Lyft and now works for Uber. Lyft’s former VP of operations Steve Schnell is also at Uber now. Uber is using the trio to help grow its international footprint. Lyft currently operates solely in the U.S., while Uber is active in 45 countries. 

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