Tesla has been the premier company when it comes to all-electric automobiles for some time. However, competition has begun ramping up in recent years, as both established auto manufactures and startups prepare to enter the market and become direct competitors. One of those startups, Rivian, may now also be facing Tesla in court regarding a lawsuit filed by Tesla.
Last week, Tesla filed suit in a California court against Rivian, alleging that they have been poaching employees and encouraged at least one to steal trade secrets from Tesla. The suit claims that Rivian hired dozens of employees away from Tesla, some of whom took confidential information relating to manufacturing, organizational, and recruiting procedures, as well as a list of Tesla employees to target for hiring.
Rivian stated that the allegations in the lawsuit are “baseless and run counter to Rivian’s culture, ethos and corporate policies.” Additionally, they also stated that they “require all employees to confirm that they have not, and will not, introduce former employers’ intellectual property into Rivian systems.”
Currently, Rivian which plans to begin manufacturing all-electric pickup trucks, vans, and SUVs, has an estimated total of 2,300 employees. 178 of these employees formerly worked at Tesla, 70 of which came directly from Tesla, as alleged by the lawsuit. Four former Tesla employees are directly named in the lawsuit. Two of them currently work in Rivian’s recruiting department, and the suit claims one of them was encouraged by Rivian to steal documents relating to matters such as pay and bonus formulas as well as Tesla’s recruiting plans.
The suit also claims that one former Tesla manager emailed personal account information regarding Tesla employees who specialized in creating and managing vehicle charging networks. The last former Tesla employee named in the lawsuit is accused of sending information relating to factory setup and automation to a personal account. There are 20 other former employees accused of similar actions, who may be added to suit in the future.