Meta sues “brazenly disloyal” former exec over stolen confidential docs

A recently unsealed court filing has revealed that Meta has sued a former senior employee for “brazenly disloyal and dishonest conduct” while leaving Meta for an AI data startup called Omniva that The Information has described as “mysterious.”

According to Meta, its former vice president of infrastructure, Dipinder Singh Khurana (also known as T.S.), allegedly used his access to “confidential, non-public, and highly sensitive” information to steal more than 100 internal documents in a rushed scheme to poach Meta employees and borrow Meta’s business plans to speed up Omniva’s negotiations with key Meta suppliers.

Meta believes that Omniva—which Data Center Dynamics (DCD) reported recently “pivoted from crypto to AI cloud”—is “seeking to provide AI cloud computing services at scale, including by designing and constructing data centers.” But it was held back by a “lack of data center expertise at the top,” DCD reported.

The Information reported that Omniva began hiring Meta employees to fill the gaps in this expertise, including wooing Khurana away from Meta.

Last year, Khurana notified Meta that he was leaving on May 15, and that’s when Meta first observed Khurana’s allegedly “utter disregard for his contractual and legal obligations to Meta—including his confidentiality obligations to Meta set forth in the Confidential Information and Invention Assignment Agreement that Khurana signed when joining Meta.”

A Meta investigation found that during Khurana’s last two weeks at the company, he allegedly uploaded confidential Meta documents—including “information about Meta’s ‘Top Talent,’ performance information for hundreds of Meta employees, and detailed employee compensation information”—on Meta’s network to a Dropbox folder labeled with his new employer’s name.

Khurana also uploaded several of Meta’s proprietary, highly sensitive, confidential, and non-public contracts with business partners who supply Meta with crucial components for its data centers,” Meta alleged. “And other documents followed.”

In addition to pulling documents, Khurana also allegedly sent “urgent” requests to subordinates for confidential information on a key supplier, including Meta’s pricing agreement “for certain computing hardware.”

“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,” Meta alleged.

Some of these documents were “expressly marked confidential,” Meta alleged. Those include a three-year business plan and PowerPoints regarding “Meta’s future ‘roadmap’ with a key supplier” and “Meta’s 2022 redesign of its global-supply-chain group” that Meta alleged “would directly aid Khurana in building his own efficient and effective supply-chain organization” and afford a path for Omniva to bypass “years of investment.” Khurana also allegedly “uploaded a PowerPoint discussing Meta’s use of GPUs for artificial intelligence.

Meta was apparently tipped off to this alleged betrayal when Khurana used his Meta email and network access to complete a writing assignment for Omniva as part of his hiring process. For this writing assignment, Khurana “disclosed non-public information about Meta’s relationship with certain suppliers that it uses for its data centers” when asked to “explain how he would help his potential new employer develop the supply chain for a company building data centers using specific technologies.”

In a seeming attempt to cover up the alleged theft of Meta documents, Khurana apparently “attempted to scrub” one document “of its references to Meta,” as well as removing a label marking it “CONFIDENTIAL—FOR INTERNAL USE ONLY.” But when replacing “Meta” with “X,” Khurana allegedly missed the term “Meta” in “at least five locations.”

“Khurana took such action to try and benefit himself or his new employer, including to help ensure that Khurana would continue to work at his new employer, continue to receive significant compensation from his new employer, and/or to enable Khurana to take shortcuts in building his supply-chain team at his new employer and/or helping to build his new employer’s business,” Meta alleged.

Ars could not immediately reach Khurana for comment. Meta noted that he has repeatedly denied breaching his contract or initiating contact with Meta employees who later joined Omniva. He also allegedly refused to sign a termination agreement that reiterates his confidentiality obligations.

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