Fiat Chrysler Automobiles traded charges in court with its former Australia CEO, who denied breaching his legal duties and said he acted on instructions from above after a lawsuit by the carmaker accused him of excessive spending and illegally enriching himself through commercial deals.
Fiat's civil lawsuit in Australian Federal Court accuses Clyde Anthony Campbell, its local CEO from 2010 to 2013, of breaching the law and his contract by giving cars to celebrities and inflating contracts to benefit his financial interests. In a defense filed on Thursday, Campbell denied breaching his legal duties and said Chrysler Asia Pacific CEO John Kett and other senior company officials had approved his actions.
He said he was told the company "would pull out of the market for right-hand drive vehicles if he didn't increase sales to 20,000 per year within three years and they didn't care how he did it". Fiat Chrysler announced last week that Kett was leaving the company to pursue other interests. It made no reference to the Campbell suit. Kett could not immediately be reached for comment.