Meta sues former executive over alleged AI theft

Meta is suing its former vice president of infrastructure over allegations that he stole proprietary human resources data about the company’s top performers, and key information about its data center supply chain partners to bring to his new employer.

In a complaint filed in late February in a California State Court, the software giant alleged that Dipinder Singh Khurana breached contractual agreements, loyalty, and fiduciary duties by taking proprietary, information related to Meta’s data centers, supply chain, as well as employee compensation to a Stealth AI startup where he holds a similar position to what he held at Meta. 

“Khurana was given access to proprietary, confidential, non-public, and highly sensitive Meta documents and information that only a limited set of Meta’s employees can access,” according to the complaint. The complaint added that the unauthorized disclosures would hurt competitive advantage, particularly in areas such as AI, data center technology, supply chain operations, and talent retention.

The company has accused Khurana of Breach of Contract, Breach of Duty of Loyalty, Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Unjust Enrichment, and violation of California’s Computer Data Access and Fraud Act.

Meta has alleged that during his last days as an employee, Khurana leaned on subordinates to give him confidential agreements with suppliers for its data centers.

“Unaware of Khurana’s plans, the employee provided Khurana with, among other things, Meta’s pricing-form agreement with that supplier for the computing hardware and the supplier’s Meta-specific preliminary pricing for a particular chip,” the complaint read. 

Included in the allegations of documents taken by Khurana is Meta’s “Top Talent” dossier, which includes detailed information about the company’s top performers, including their performance reviews and compensation matrix.

“Taken together, the sensitive, confidential, and non-public information in these spreadsheets provides an inside view as to how Meta makes compensation decisions, and also provides key information regarding not just the names of Meta employees but their levels, performance, and skills at Meta,” the complaint read.

Meta also alleged in the court document that Khurana prepared a slide deck for his new employer that said, “We do not have the luxury of learning-as-we-go.” Meta said it believes this “mentality likely contributed to Khurana’s wrongful behavior.”

Meta is seeking damages, disgorgement of profits unlawfully obtained by Khurana, restitution, injunctive relief, attorneys’ fees, interest, and other remedies for alleged contract breaches and misuse of proprietary information.

The company is demanding a jury trial, and none of the allegations have yet been proven in court.

Copyright © 2024 IDG Communications, Inc.

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