Group Lotus CEO Dany Bahar, pictured above with Alicia Keys and Swizz Beats, has been suspended for 14 days while parent company DRB-Hicom carries out an investigation into his activities amid concerns over misuse of company funds. And, boy, isn’t Tony Fernandes making the most of the opportunity to kick Bahar while he is down. More on that later; here’s a snippet from the official Group Lotus plc statement on Bahar:
“As a result of a number of media inquiries, Group Lotus plc 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 Bhd.
“In Bahar’s absence, Datuk Lukman Ibrahim (Proton’s deputy CEO), Mohd Khalid Yusof and Aslam Farikullah (representatives of Lotus’ parent companies) have been authorised by Lotus’ board to handle and conduct the day to day management and affairs of the Lotus Group. They will be assisted by Rusman Zaihan. They have been authorised to take up these duties during the suspension period.”
Okay, then, let’s get back to the bitchiness being exhibited by Fernandes, Malaysian businessman, owner of Caterham Cars and boss of former F1 outfit Team Lotus. A short while ago he took to twitter and said the following (excuse the spelling mistakes):
“So the mess at group lotus is finally being told. No one listened to us. Syed Zainal and bahr out. Chairman gone. Kamil of DRB is a good man but what a mess he’s inherited.
“Ego is a bad thing. Sued by Group Lotus. Abandoned by Clive Chapman . All so unecessary. But now we are real happy at Caterham.
“We could have done so much with Group Lotus and the F1 team in the true Lotus spirit building from scratch not renaming a team. and created cars that people want
“But now we recreate the spirit of Lotus in caterham. Exciting days ahead.”
We’re not entirely sure if any of that is based on fact or is just plain fantasy on Fernandes’ part, but it makes for some juicy reading. As we suspected, the kiss and make up statement from Bahar and Fernandes after their F1 naming fallout was indeed based on fiction.
Group Lotus also has form at responding to swipes from Fernandes, let’s see if they sharpen their fingernails again. It’s all a bit high school tantrum-like really.