When Ernst Lieb (farthest right in the photo) was ousted as CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA earlier in the week, speculation was that he had been fired. While Mercedes has officially remained mum on the topic, a new report from the Financial Times says the cause of his departure was "irregularities in the human resources area," which FT says related to paying a household employee with company money.

Apparently, an internal whistleblower busted Lieb, who FT says had already gotten into hot water over his wife's golf membership – which he was billing to the company. The hard line taken with Lieb, says FT, may be linked to a focus on eliminating corruption in the German business community, after a string of scandals at Siemens, Volkswagen and Daimler itself. Daimler infamously paid a $200 million settlement earlier this year when the U.S. charged the company with bribing foreign officials.

But another report, from TheDetroitBureau.com, suggest that business decisions might have been a factor in Lieb's exit, "including a dicey move authorized by Lieb meant to bolster September sales numbers." While the Bureau quotes a "senior source at Daimler AG headquarters in Germany" saying that this attempt to manipulate sales numbers had "nothing to do with this," the report goes into detail explaining a one-day-demo program M-B USA cooked up for its dealers. The plan could have added "several thousand" units to the sales totals for the month of September.

While the source of the corporate brass' dissatisfaction with Lieb remains a mystery – at least for now – we expect more details will surface, including who the company will hire to replace him. In the meantime, M-B USA was forced to cancel its annual dealer meeting in Chicago this week.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 14 Comments
      selder1958
      • 3 Years Ago
      What a moron! I'm guessing that CEO of Mercedes Benz USA pays a pretty nice salary - more than enough to pay for his wife's golf membership and a household employee. What is it with these people? They always seem to feel as if they'll never be caught!
        • 3 Years Ago
        @selder1958
        [blocked]
          brian
          • 3 Years Ago
          But if it weren't for greed - Who could afford a Mercedes S Class?
      DC Mike
      • 3 Years Ago
      MB must not pay well. He was probably stealing TP from the executive washroom too.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @DC Mike
        [blocked]
      brian
      • 3 Years Ago
      With that kind of record, he could run as a Republican for Congress...
        Car Guy
        • 3 Years Ago
        @brian
        Sounds more like a candidate to be one of Obama's czars.........full of incompetence......
          Jake
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Car Guy
          Captain Spadaro, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Car Guy
          [blocked]
          Jake
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Car Guy
          @AcidTonic Typical Liberal nonsense. What I said was obviously a quote from Billy Madison... you know... a comedy? Is laughter impossible with you people?
          AcidTonic
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Car Guy
          @Jake People like you allow the status quo to continue. The current system is broken and the sooner you realize it the better.
        nonosh
        • 3 Years Ago
        @brian
        Democrats are just as scandalous as Republicans are.
      Patrick
      • 3 Years Ago
      He's the only one that cares about a tan. That is a dead giveaway.
      AcidTonic
      • 3 Years Ago
      Can't say I'm surprised. Everyone in the top 10% engages in backroom deals and all sorts of "perks" which really just slap the working man in the face. So you make millions every year, but STILL need to bill the company for vehicles/hotels/club memberships? Gotcha. All I can say is that we basically ask for this to happen the instant we think some guy up top really is responsible for all the growth of a company and put him above the law "because he's good". Obviously this guy wasn't and the others are all just as crooked but they haven't been caught yet. Shame on you CEOs..... Quit robbing our generation. KthxBye.
    • Load More Comments