Controversial Group Lotus CEO Dany Bahar has been fired from his position with the company following a complaint about his conduct, the Malaysian-owned manufacturer announced on Thursday.
The official press release from the company said that Group Lotus "can today confirm that Mr Dany Bahar has been terminated from his employment as Chief Executive Officer of Lotus with immediate effect.
"The decision was made by the Board of Group Lotus plc following the results of an investigation into a complaint made against him by the company's penultimate holding company, DRB-HICOM Berhad," the statement added.
The details about the complaint that led to Bahar's termination remains strictly under wraps. Bahar had been suspended from his position two weeks ago on May 25 following the original filing of the complaint. Group Lotus' PR agency said that no further details about the inciting matter would be disclosed for the time being, and that there would be no further comment on the matter for now.
Group Lotus also announced the appointment of Aslam Farikullah as the company's Chief Operating Officer, again with immediate effect. Farikullah will presumably run the company in Bahar's place, although no official replacement for Bahar as Chief Executive Officer was named.
51-year-old Farikullah is described as a British resident and an engineering graduate of the University of Bath, with over 26 years experience mostly in the automotive industry.
With fingers in many pies in the automotive and motorsports world at present thanks to Bahar's high-profile and controversial expansionist strategy, Group Lotus has moved quickly to reassure interested parties that the change of management didn't mean that the manufacturer was about to make more widescale changes to its corporate strategy.
"I would like to assure you that we remain committed to ensure the ongoing and future business operations of the Lotus Group as we take the Lotus Group to the next level to remain relevant in the global automotive industry, said Dato' Sri Haji Mohd Khamil Jamil, Chairman of Lotus and the Group Managing Director of DRB-HICOM Berhad.
"I look forward to bringing mutual benefits to not only DRB-HICOM and PROTON Holdings Berhad but also the Lotus Group and its employees as well as contribute to the growth of the British automotive industry," he added in the official company statement announcing the top-level management shake-up. He had previously stated that the company would not be sold off "despite recent media reports based purely on speculation and rumours".