Dany Bahar has been suspended from his job as head of Group Lotus, a subsidiary of Proton. The temporary suspension is to facilitate an investigation into a complaint about the ex-Ferrari employee’s conduct, according to Proton’s new owner DRB-Hicom.
“Group Lotus plc (“Lotus”) can today confirm that, following an operational review, chief executive Dany Bahar has been temporarily suspended from his role to facilitate an investigation into a complaint about his conduct made by Lotus’ penultimate parent company, DRB-Hicom Berhad,” the Malaysian company said in a statement.
“The penultimate holding company would like to stress it is business as usual at Lotus. We fully support the company and will continue to support Lotus in its business endeavours and development,” a DRB spokesman told Norwich Evening News.
Bahar pictured here with Datuk Seri Syed Zainal Abidin. Is DRB performing a clear out?
The statement from DRB confirms speculation about Bahar’s future that arose after he missed appointments at the ongoing Monaco GP weekend (a Lotus Originals store opening, among others). Word went around that the flamboyant Turkish-Swiss was instead summoned to Malaysia, where he was told about the suspension.
With Bahar out of the frame, for now, DRB-Hicom has appointed internal people Datuk Lukman Ibrahim, Mohd Khalid Yusof and Aslam Farikulla to be in charge of Lotus, assisted by current CFO Rusman Zaihan. No official statement on the alleged misconduct by Bahar, so your guess is as good as ours.
Dany Bahar joined Lotus from Ferrari in late 2009, famously crafting an ambitious five-year plan for the loss-making company. This plan surfaced at the 2010 Paris Motor Show, where Lotus wheeled out five concept cars in a spectacular show. We witnessed that landmark moment – click here to read all about the plan, and the concepts.
Bahar signed a fresh four-year contract with Proton in December last year, just before the national carmaker was sold to DRB-Hicom. His original contract expires this year.