Lotus Group CEO Dany Bahar has been dismissed with immediate effect, following his suspension by the company’s Malaysian owners just a couple of weeks ago.
Bahar came to Lotus in 2009 after a career that saw him involved on the commercial and marketing side of Sauber, Red Bull and Ferrari. Since his appointment at Lotus, Bahar has helped the company to earn £10.7 million from the government’s Regional Growth Fund. Mr Bahar also employed several former Ferrari contacts in key positions and instigated a number of motor-racing programs at Lotus, including the sponsorship of the Lotus F1 team. At the 2011 Paris Motor Show, Bahar unveiled an ambitious production car development plan, with no-less than five new models planned, saying these were products of the future for Lotus.
Having been subject to due diligence processes since being taken over in January 2009 by new owners, DRB-Hicom, Lotus has been on a tight leash. While there is no official word as to why Bahar has been suspended, speculation is that the former CEO may be guilty of ‘misconduct’. The speculation comes in light of allegations that Bahar refurbished several personal houses at the company’s expense.
At present, no replacement for Bahar has been selected, but Aslam Farikullah has been appointed Group Lotus’ chief operating officer, also effective immediately, presumably to run the day-to-day business until a suitable CEO can be found. Owners, DRB-Hicom, insist that they remain fully focused on securing a bright future for Group Lotus, despite recent speculation that it was open to selling the sportscar company.