Dany Bahar, the disgraced former CEO of the money-losing British sportscar maker Lotus, sued Lotus and its Malaysian parent DRB-Hicom for wrongful dismissal. According to Bloomberg, Bahar wants 6.7 million pounds ($10.6 million) from Lotus for alleged unlawful early termination of his employment. The media got wind of the lawsuit after DRB-Hicom made a filing at the Kuala Lumpur Bursa.
In the stock exchange filing, DRB-Hicom said that “Dany Bahar was dismissed after an investigation into his stewardship of Lotus.” No specifics were given. When Bahar was fired on June 7, “the decision was made by the board of Group Lotus plc following the results of an investigation into a complaint made against him by the company’s penultimate holding company, DRB-HICOM Berhad,” an official statement said.
DRB, controlled by billionaire Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary, inherited Lotus through its purchase of Malaysian carmaker Proton. The “handsome” and “flamboyant” (The Independent) Bahar was hired from Ferrari three year ago. He was supposed to turn the company around. Instead, it burned through all available cash.
In the business, CEOs and top level executives can afford all kinds of improprieties – as long as they are successful. If they fall from grace, corporate auditors usually find something that otherwise would be overlooked.
According to the filing, DRB and Lotus will file counter-claims.