Dany Bahar is dismissed as CEO of Group Lotus


It comes as no surprise to hear that Dany Bahar’s suspension from his role as Lotus CEO, has now been confirmed as a full termination.

A statement released by DRB-Hicom this afternoon confirms that he will not be returning to Hethel, following a hearing conducted to question his actions uncovered in the post-acquisition review by Ernst & Young and Rothschild.

Aslam Farikullah, one of the DRB-Hicom executives who took over from Bahar when his suspension was announced, has taken over running of the company full time – although as Chief Operating Officer (COO) his role is to maintain the day-to-day running of the business.

The role of CEO remains vacant, which is something DRB-Hicom must urgently address if it stands a chance of transforming Lotus from a vulnerable un-profitable car maker towards a more sustainable and self-sufficient future.

The statement follows Bahar’s temporary suspension on 25th May, while parent company, DRB-HICOM Berhad, investigated its own complaint into his conduct.

Some have speculated that the reason for his suspension centre on an abuse of company expenses, fuelling Bahar’s extravagant lifestyle of helicopters, 5-star hotels and lavish celebrity events. Bahar countered such speculation by stating it was well within the terms of his contract, and represented nothing more than his efforts to align the profile of the Lotus brand with those of Ferrari, Aston Martin and Porsche.

Whilst Bahar’s high-profile lifestyle was certainly at odds with the more modest culture of his new Malaysian owners, there were far more significant reasons for Dany’s dissmissal by DRB-Hicom, which we’ve outlined in previous articles (below).

Nevertheless, despite Bahar’s climb-down from grace, DRB-Hicom still face some significant challenges, not least renegotiating the terms and duration of the covenants on Lotus’ syndicated loans. Aslam Farikullah, who takes on the day-to-day running of Lotus will be in no doubt how significant the next 60 days will be for his own career – let’s hope he receives both the support and the resources to move Lotus beyond its current predicament.