Sir James Dyson has settled a dispute with Max Conze, the company’s former chief executive who was fired two months ago for allegedly stealing Dyson company secrets.
Conze was sacked by Dyson in October for a series of alleged “breaches”, which he strongly refuted.
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A month later, the company filed a claim in the High Court claiming Conze breached his duties in a number of ways which included “disclosing confidential product information to third parties”.
Dyson also said Conze was “using Dyson resources and information to evaluate an investment opportunity for his own benefit and/or for the benefit of a venture capital firm, rather than for Dyson’s benefit”.
Conze responded to the company’s lawsuit at the time, saying:
This ridiculous allegation is merely trying to distract attention from the claims that Dyson know I am about to issue.
What’s the latest?
Conze has now been paid several million pounds, some of which is compensation for missing out on long-term share awards he would have received had he stayed on as chief executive, the Financial Times reported.
Sir James confirmed that all claims had been settled, but would not comment on the settlement amount.
A spokesman for Conze told the Press Association:
All claims have been settled.
Did Conze contribute to Dyson’s success?
Conze was appointed chief executive of Dyson in 2011. Under his leadership, Dyson’s profits saw a marked increase, rising 41 percent last year to £631m.
During his six-year tenure in the top job, Dyson’s workforce quadrupled to 10,000, while sales rose from 5m units to 17m units around the world.
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Conze also oversaw the launch of a variety of new products including the popular £299.99 supersonic hairdryer.
Conze was immediately replaced by Dyson’s chief operating officer Jim Rowan.
What’s next for Dyson?
Dyson has its eye on the car industry, with plans underway to launch a fully electric car in 2020.
Sir James told staff in an email in September:
“Competition for new technology in the automotive industry is fierce and we must do everything we can to keep the specifics of our vehicle confidential.”
Using the company’s own battery technology, the vehicle will be assembled in the UK or Southeast Asia.
Dyson will invest £1bn in making the car, another £1bn in its battery technology, and a further £500m into all of its other work.
The company has lost a number of its senior executives in recent months.
Finance director John Shipsey left earlier this year, while Ann Marie Sastry, who founded the battery start-up Sakti3 that was acquired by Dyson two years ago for $90m, has also left the company.