Mercedes USA Boss Fired For "Serious And Repeated" Financial Violations

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

The German business paper Handelsblatt reports that Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Ernst Lieb, a 36-year Daimler veteran, has been fired for “serious and repeated” violations of the company’s internal finance compliance rules. Per the Dow Jones [via FoxBusiness] translation,

Lieb is said to have remodeled his house in New York at the expense of Daimler and settled personal golf club contributions through the company, the executive is reported as saying.

Lieb has also been accused of providing favors at the company’s expense, such as renting cars in exchange for flight upgrades

In the words of one “longtime Daimler executive,”

Ernst was warned, but he has done it again

According to Handelsblatt, internal whistleblowers are likely responsible for Lieb’s firing, as Daimler’s new “zero tolerance” policy on such misconduct outweighed the loyalty felt for such a long-standing executive. But there will be consequences from Lieb’s firing, as the paper notes that Lieb had done much to repair shattered relations with Mercedes’ US dealers (sure enough, a planned dealer meeting has been canceled). But Daimler had to stand firm: six years ago, a similar issue arose when a German sales manager was found to have used company funds to renovate his house in Majorca. Now, at least, there’s no question as to where Daimler stands on the conduct of even its top executives.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • APaGttH APaGttH on Oct 19, 2011

    And people wonder why there is growing outrage at corporate excesses. If Gunter the mailroom clerk was stealing checks from Mercedes he'd go to jail. Just sayin'

    • Ronnie Schreiber Ronnie Schreiber on Oct 19, 2011

      What corporate excess? An individual took advantage of a situation. Why outrage? Someone did something wrong, was caught, and fired. We'll see if he's prosecuted. I'm sure that because of tax implications there will be a criminal investigation whether or not Daimler files charges. Did you know that banks rarely prosecute tellers and other low level embezzlers? It's not good business for the public to think your employees are thieves. A bank is much more likely to prosecute an employee that stole millions than it would low level theft. In any case, there's probably at least as much fraud and dishonesty in the public sector as there is in the corporate world. The difference is that in the private sector there is some accountability. How many incompetent and corrupt government employees get fired? For every one of your Gunters, there's probably a GS-13 that fudged some expense accounts or used a government credit card inappropriately. I'm trying to figure out just how lax M-B's purchasing procedures are. Either that or all of his subordinates knew this was going on. This guy's the CEO, he doesn't sign purchase orders for construction. Just exactly how did he get the company to pay for the work on his house? I can see being able to fudge golf fees under entertainment expenses, and using his company credit card to rent a car for someone, but home remodeling?

  • Hob00 Hob00 on Oct 19, 2011

    Mercedes-benz provides " company " home to their top executives . So any home repair would have been done on the " company " home . Club memberships are standard perks of any top job in almost any industry . So nothing unusual . I smell a personal vendata . I'm a GM at a US M-B retailer and there has never been a better president at Mercedes USA . He will be missed .

    • Ronnie Schreiber Ronnie Schreiber on Oct 19, 2011

      There's often a personal vendetta involved in a lot of scandals, both those with a basis and those where no inappropriate behavior occurred.

  • Eldard Eldard on Oct 19, 2011

    People like him are a dime a dozen in my country.

  • Chris269 Chris269 on Oct 19, 2011

    MR. Lieb doesn't even live in NY let alone have a house. The house in NJ is own by MBUSA so any money he would have spent on it would have benefited the house which is owned by the company.