Tesla learned of Dyson’s EV plans 2 years early

Friday, 10 November 2017, 09:56:07 AM. An engineer who jumped from Dyson to Tesla told his new employer about EV plans
When Dyson Ltd. started developing an electric car — a radical departure for a company known for vacuums and hand dryers — executives knew it would be tough to keep the plan under wraps. What they didn’t know was that an engineer who they had picked for a small and highly secretive group to work on it already had a job offer from Tesla Inc. Court documents dating back to 2015, and published for the first time Monday, reveal the story of how a 30-year-old engineer, Pierre Pellerey, told Tesla about Dyson’s electric car more than two years before it was made public, kicking off months of legal battles. It is one of many legal disputes to reveal the high stakes when tech workers move to new jobs. In a courtroom thousands of miles away in San Francisco, Waymo LLC, the self-driving car unit of Alphabet Inc., is suing Uber Technologies Inc. over claims that the ride-hailing company is basing the future of its business on technology that was stolen by a former employee. Pellerey, whose role was so secret that company founder and chairman James Dyson had told him not even to discuss it with colleagues, forwarded an email to Tesla’s lawyer that barely disguised Dyson’s plan. The lawyer said he didn’t share it with anyone else at Tesla. But the court case that followed, in which Dyson won an injunction preventing Pellerey from working for Tesla for nine months, meant that Tesla would have known of Dyson’s plans two years before they were made public in September 2017. The law firm that...Read more
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