An extraordinary war is breaking out between Dyson, the British manufacturer of vacuum cleaners and other gadgets, and its former chief executive, Max Conze.
Conze left the company last month after a six-year tenure, seemingly on good terms. On Wednesday, Dyson filed a legal claim against him at the High Court in London, containing three big allegations relating to his dismissal. And Conze is reportedly about to hit back hard.
Dyson’s first allegation is that Conze disclosed confidential product information to third parties that breached confidentiality rules. The second is that he used company information and resources to scope out an investment opportunity for himself and a venture capital firm, rather than for Dyson. The third allegation is that he failed to follow lawful and reasonable instructions regarding his conduct and focus of attention.
As you may have noticed, this public information is all quite vaguely phrased—the company said it can’t reveal more until Conze files his defense. Bloomberg reported that the allegation about sharing confidential information related to Dyson’s plans to release an electric car by 2020.
“I did nothing of the sort,” Conze said in a statement. “This ridiculous allegation is merely trying to distract attention from the claims that Dyson knows I am about to issue.”
The Guardian suggested that Conze would launch a wrongful dismissal suit against his former employer.