Dyson is suing its former chief executive over claims he leaked the company’s secrets and he used the company’s resources for his personal benefit.
Max Conze, who was dismissed from the company famed for its vacuum cleaners and hair dryers in early October, is alleged to have breached Dyson’s confidentiality rules by sending out company information to third parties. It is believed, Conze, who joined Dyson in 2010 and was promoted to chief executive in 2011, leaked information on products which had yet to be launched.
The case also involves allegations that Conze breached his duties by using the company’s resources to evaluate an investment for his own and a venture capital group’s benefit, rather than his employer’s. The case has been filed in the High Court and another claim made against Conze was surrounding his failure to adhere to lawful and reasonable instructions over his conduct and focus of attention.
Conze presided over the launch of new products, such as the Supersonic hair dryer, contributing to a 41% rise in underlying profit to £631 million last year, on revenues of £2.5 billion. Before Dyson, Max Conze had spent 17 years with Procter & Gamble.
Dyson have released a statement explaining: “The Dyson board has decided to bring a claim against Max Conze at the High Court of Justice in London, in relation to his actions while chief executive, including the disclosure of confidential information and a breach of his fiduciary duties”.
Dyson has recently confirmed the company is building a brand new electric car from scratch, which is set to be on the road by 2020, is expected to include autonomous systems and is set to cost £2.5 billion. The company is also set to be investing in cutting-edge technologies such as: artificial intelligence, robotics and batteries as part of an ambitious expansion drive. The organisation is owned by Sir James Dyson who has a fortune of £5 billion, is said to be one of Britain’s most successful businessmen.
Max Conze has since denied any wrongdoing and has stated he will be issuing his own legal claims against Dyson. He also said: “I did nothing of the sort. During my six years as chief executive of Dyson, the sales and profits have tripled with the company growing from 2,500 to 10,000 staff. He has also apologised to the staff at Dyson for “the unnecessary distraction all this will inevitably cause”.
The head of employment at Mishcon de Reya, Daniel Naftalin, stated: “Since he left Dyson, Conze had made claims against James Dyson and members of the Dyson Group. These will be brought to court at the correct time. Court filings indicate Dyson will seek financial redress for breach of contract and other allegations, although the documents did not say how much it will claim.
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