| LONDON, June 7
LONDON, June 7 Dany Bahar, the chief executive
who had ambitious plans for sportscar maker Lotus in Formula One
and IndyCars, has been dismissed, Malaysian-owned Group Lotus
said in a statement on Thursday.
Group Lotus said the decision was made by the board after an
investigation into a complaint made against him by holding
company DRB-HICOM Berhad.
Aslam Farikullah, 51, was appointed as chief operating
officer with immediate effect.
Lotus employs more than 1,000 workers at its headquarters in
DRB-HICOM group managing director Mohd Khamil Jamil, who is
also chairman of Lotus, said the company's Malaysian owners
remained "committed to ensure the ongoing and future business
operations of the Lotus Group.
"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."
Bahar previously worked in marketing for Red Bull and
Ferrari and moved to Lotus after parent company Proton had
agreed a deal for Malaysian aviation entrepreneur Tony Fernandes
to enter Formula One as Lotus Racing.
Bahar soon made clear he also intended to use the Lotus
brand in Formula One, as title sponsor to the then-Renault
outfit, a move that triggered legal action and the confusion of
having two Lotus teams on the starting grid.
That confusion subsequently disappeared, with Fernandes
renaming his team Caterham and Renault becoming Lotus - even
though the title sponsorship with Lotus Group has ended.
DRB-Hicom bought Proton, the parent company of Group Lotus,
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by John Mehaffey)