Clyde Campbell, the former top executive of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV’s Australian division has been accused of misappropriating or misusing around $30 million AU, or $23 million.
The seventh largest automaker in the world, FCA, has launched the legal actions against Campbell, which had surrounded itself with a yacht, lavish trips, Hollywood stars and neglected his duties as chief of the Australian operations. He is accused, alongside a former associate in what has become a major scandal in the Australian business sector. Campbell made his way up through the ranks while the company was still named DaimlerChrysler AG and he was then made the managing director of Fiat Chrysler Australian operations back in October 2010. FCA now says the manager used the company for personal interest, with help from inside as well. The scheme apparently crashed before the holidays last year when the chief executive of the Australian unit, Veronica Johns surprisingly resigned, for “personal reasons.” She was replaced by 32-year company veteran Pat Dougherty, who was filled in on the alleged scheme from the get go – finding out about Campbell’s expenses. For example, he was not allowed to travel first class or fly overseas without permission but he reportedly went on lavish trips – to the Grand Prix in Monaco, New Orleans and Rio de Janeiro, to expensive spas and golf resorts. And there was also a yacht – purchased from money that should have been used for a ‘mobile outdoor floating billboard’ for the company.
According to sources from within the company, his wrongdoings went unnoticed as he delivered results and the main offices were busy putting together the Fiat and Chrysler merger. And the auditors in Australia need no less than a month to sift through all of the evidence to make up the case in court against Campbell and possibly others, such as former chief executive Johns.