Group Lotus plc has filed a lawsuit against former CEO Dany Bahar to recoup unauthorised expenses, overpaid salary and bonuses, according to reports out of the UK this week.
Bloomberg reports that Lotus is seeking £2.5 million ($AU3.8 million) for extravagances such as property rent and furbishment, a chauffeur, helicopter travel and the purchase of expensive watches, all using Lotus funds during his stint as CEO.
The move follows Bahar’s initial legal action in August, seeking £6.7 million ($AU10.3 million) from the British sports car manufacturer’s parent company DRB-Hicom for wrongful termination.
Bahar was sacked as Lotus CEO in June, just six months after DRB-Hicom purchased Proton, Lotus’ owner - with Lotus included in the deal.
Lotus’ counterclaim describes Bahar’s performance as CEO as “abysmal, and was excessively extravagant and mercenary and was preoccupied with his own interests".
The company adds that Bahar's actions were "all the more unacceptable", in light of his being tasked with moving the company toward profitability; a mission he "singularly failed" to accomplish.
“The spending pattern of the group was not justifiable or sustainable, including the lavish lifestyle of the claimant who appeared to have ignored internal controls.”
Bahar joined Lotus as CEO in 2009 from a senior sales position with Ferrari, and is best remembered for his 2010 Paris Motor Show unveiling of five concept models, and related plans to quadruple Lotus sales.