Board feuds revealed at Daimler-Benz

RUSSELL HOTTEN

The former finance director of Daimler-Benz, Gerhard Liener, has revealed the full depths of boardroom feuding, piling on the embarrassment for the financially-troubled German industrial flagship.

Mr Liener, who was acting as a consultant to Daimler, was dismissed yesterday, two years before the end of his contract because of disclosure of the remarks, aimed primarily at Daimler's legendary ex-chairman, Edzard Reuter.

In extracts from his 76-page letter which appeared in the German press, Mr Liener blames Mr Reuter for systematically undermining him and then dismissing him as finance director in cold blood in 1994.

He accuses Mr Reuter of turning a a deaf ear to warnings about the purchase of Dornier, suggesting that the matter was not fully discussed with Daimler's board. Mr Liener said the Dornier purchase was "the most awful that we ever concluded." He said Reuter "had been fooled" into signing the contract and the board had been forced by him to concur.

The document paints Mr Reuter as a man embroiled in intrigue, obsessed with seeing his name in the press and jealous of any other executive getting credit for the company's successes.

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