Fiat Chrysler Australia’s former boss misused more than $30 million in company funds, the firm alleges. Now the car company (FCA) is taking action in the Federal Court against former CEO Clyde Campbell.
Amazingly the guy lifted sales fairly significantly and presumably the 30 mill was all counted as cost of sales – until they discovered a lot of it was for stuff that should not have been. Like club memberships, and travel. Plus a bunch of cars were loaned to celebrities in Australia and somehow in the UK.
First, the sales growth. For three years to December 2014, Alfa Romeo sales grew 129.0 per cent, Chrysler by 185.7 per cent, Fiat an amazing 982.3 per cent per cent, Fiat Professional 22.1 per cent per cent and Jeep a massive 251.6 per cent.
That’s awesome, and if the guy was clocking up 30 mill to do it, clearly no one noticed at the time. This isn’t to say he hasn’t broken some rules inside the firm, but CX wonders why the motor giant would expose itself to so much bad publicity.
One amazing aspect of the case is the internet marketing levy that the firm made the dealers pay. As we are in the biz of media, we were highly impressed to discover dealers were paying $4,100 a month for web services. Clearly we have missed our calling here!
Best of all, it seems Mr. Campbell had a secret stake in the web marking company called Motortrak. When Mr Campbell was appointed managing director in October 2010 Motortrak was engaged to supply web services for the 59 dealerships at a rate of $690 a month each. As of May this year, the 184 dealers were forking over $4,100. We guess the sales increases masked the pain?
As a result of the publicity arising from the case, the dealers now feel aggrieved and are suing FCA. They are saying publically that FCA has not properly supported them, or their customers.
The court cases are multiplying, and media reports now link others who earlier worked alongside Mr. Campbell at Mercedes Australia.