Lotus axes CEO over complaint
OUSTED CEO ALREADY REPLACED: Lotus CEO Dany Bahar has been fired due to a complaint made against him. The sports carmaker and F1 team have already found a replacement.
Author: ALAN BALDWIN
LONDON, England - Dany Bahar, the chief executive who had ambitious plans for sports-car maker Lotus in Formula 1 and IndyCars, has been dismissed after an (unspecified) complaint was made against him.
The team said the decision was made by the board after an investigation into the complaint from holding company DRB-HICOM Berhad. Aslam Farikullah was appointed as chief operating officer with immediate effect to manage the more than 1000 employees at Lotus HQ in England.
LOTUS TEAM DEBACLE
DRB-HICOM group MD Mohd Khamil Jamil, who is also chairman of Lotus, said the company's Malaysian owners remained "committed to the ongoing and future business operations of the Lotus Group".
Jamil said: "I look forward to bringing mutual benefits not only to DRB-HICOM and Proton Holdings Berhad but also the Lotus Group and its employees, as well as contributing to the growth of the British automotive industry."
Bahar previously worked in marketing for Red Bull and Ferrari and moved to Lotus after parent company Proton had agreed to a deal for Malaysian aviation entrepreneur Tony Fernandes to enter F1 as Lotus Racing. Bahar soon made it clear that he also intended to use the Lotus brand in F1, as title sponsor to the then-Renault outfit, a move that triggered legal action and the confusion of having two Lotus teams on F1 grids.
That confusion subsequently disappeared, with Fernandes renaming his team Caterham and Renault becoming Lotus - even though the title sponsorship with Lotus Group had ended.
DRB-Hicom bought Proton, the parent company of Group Lotus, in January, 2012.