Expenses at the centre of Lotus CEO suspension scandal?
Late on Friday afternoon, news broke that Lotus CEO Dany Bahar (pictured right) had been suspended, with Lotus confirming earlier rumours but stopping short of saying exactly why. It's the latest in a string of bizarre and/or controversial things to come out of Lotus recently.
But according to a report in The Telegraph, expenses are at the centre of Mr Bahar's suspension. Lotus owner DRB-Hicom hasn't confirmed this, but has said Mr Bahar has had his laptop and mobile phone confiscated.
Lotus said on Friday that it has "temporarily suspended [Dany Bahar] from his role, to facilitate an investigation into a complaint about his conduct made by Lotus' penultimate parent company, DRB-Hicom Bhd."
It had been assumed that said conduct was Mr Bahar's role in the appointment of rapper Swizz Beatz as creative consultant to Lotus, and that it had taken this long for that news to reach the top of the greasy corporate ladder that leads from Hethel to Malaysia.
However, the suspension came after a due diligence report on Lotus by Ernst & Young, which has led to speculation that it could have something to do with Lotus' spectacular five-year plan, announced at the Paris Motor Show 2012...
...or, rather, the fairly unspectacular grinding to a halt of said plan.
Time will no doubt give us the true story. If there's one thing we can be sure of already, however, it's that Lotus will shortly go into damage limitation mode, and do so in hilarious fashion. Our money's on Lotus claiming that Dany Bahar never really existed.
That said, we might reserve a fiver for the long shot: that Lotus will become a Scientologist and begin an epic smear campaign against Bahar, claiming he's a hermaphrodite alien, sent from the future by Caterham to ruin Lotus just as it's on the cusp of inventing an infinite, free green energy source.
Yep, still here.