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Lieb’s Ouster Underscores Ethics Crackdown at Daimler

Ethics issues no longer ignored, will other senior officials be tripped up?

by on Oct.21, 2011

Ernst Lieb introducing the then-new Mercedes-Benz ML450 at the 2009 New York Auto Show.

The rules have changed and, as a result, so have some of the players, it seems – a crackdown on ethics snagging one of the big fish at Daimler AG, former Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Ernst Lieb.

Lieb was unceremoniously dismissed from his job after he was warned about financial indiscretions, including using corporate funds for to pay for household help and golf-club memberships for his wife, according to an investigation by TheDetroitBureau.com – as well as additional reports coming out of Europe.

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Lieb was removed despite compiling a solid record of sales success, over the past few years, in an extremely competitive market.  He apparently had received prior warnings over his lax attitude towards expense reimbursements but failed to recognize that Daimler was no longer willing to wink and nod at such violations.

The parent of Mercedes-Benz, Maybach and Smart now goes to great lengths to remain above reproach following a series of scandals that both hurt its image and cost it a significant amount of cash.

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