More legal trouble for Lotus, the struggling sportscar maker. After recently sacked CEO Dany Bahar filed a claim against the Hethel company and its Malaysian parent DRB-Hicom for wrongful dismissal, UK’s Financial Times now report that two senior executives that have been dismissed for “gross misconduct” are taking Lotus to an employment tribunal.
The two, who are former heads of legal and human resources, have worked for Lotus for six and 17 years respectively. They are claiming unfair dismissal, harassment, and sexual, religious and racial discrimination.
People familiar with the case also say that they faced “intense interrogation sessions” by the company’s new management, brought in by DRB-Hicom. FT‘s report adds that some staff believe the new owners want to “Malaysianise” management at the company.
Ex-boss Dany Bahar was sacked by DRB-Hicom in June, following the results of an investigation into a complaint made against him. At the same time, DRB-Hicom installed their man Aslam Farikullah as the company’s chief operating officer. The claimed “intense interrogation sessions” were part of the Bahar probe.
It has been a rough start for Lotus’ latest parent, but DRB-Hicom has publicly expressed desire to keep the sportscar maker. It was recently revealed that DRB rejected an offer to take the loss making sportscar maker off its books for £1.
“The easy way out was to accept the offer. As a businessman, that was what I could have done to cut the loss, move on. But looking at the intrinsic value of Lotus, the knowledge, the iconic brand with global presence and positioning, coupled with unsurpassed engineering expertise and a talented workforce, its ability to cross function with Proton…we believe we have a business plan that will work for Lotus,” said DRB-Hicom group managing director Datuk Seri Mohd Khamil Jamil.
“If I sell without trying, at the end of the day, I will fail my shareholders,” he added. Read what DRB’s boss has to say about Lotus here.