At FCA, amid the backdrop of a proposed merger and its subsequent collapse, a lawsuit has been filed by Reid Bigland, head of the RAM brand and CEO of FCA Canada alleging that FCA has retaliated against Bigland for cooperating in a Federal prob of FCA's sales reporting process.
Bigland joined Chrysler in 2006 and in turn took over the reigns of Alfa Romeo, Maserati, and Dodge, eventually serving as CEO of FCA Canada. The lawsuit filed Wednesday accuses FCA of retaliation for not taking the fall for the sales reporting prob. Bigland claims his compensation has fallen by more than 90% and that the sales reporting process under scrutiny was one that he inherited.
The probe of FCA's sales reporting started after two dealerships in Illinois filed a lawsuit alleging they were offered cash in return for reporting falsely inflated sales numbers. From that lawsuit, FCA was forced to recount and re-report its previous sales reports. The Security and Exchange Commission continued its investigation and Bigland cooperated.
Bigland's position is that the sales reporting methods existed well before he assumed his roles, and he did nothing to change the reporting process already in place. Bigland claims that the SEC tried to settle with some admission of wrong-doing by the company and Bigland. Bigland declined to admit wrong doing and later sent a letter detailing the sales reporting practices to the SEC.
Bigland sold his shares in the company in 2018 and he claims that FCA is withholding bonuses to pay for SEC fines if and when they come.
For FCA's part they say via Detroit News:
"His eligibility for incentive compensation — like that of all corporate officers — is subject to a determination by the Board of Directors' compensation committee that he has satisfied the applicable company and personal performance conditions,” FCA said in an e-mailed statement to The News.
“Mr. Bigland's eligibility for his award remains subject to that determination and completion of a Board-level evaluation of issues that are the subject to governmental investigations (as previously disclosed by FCA) in which FCA continues to cooperate. Beyond that, it would be inappropriate to comment on ongoing litigation or internal compensation processes."
We'll have more information as it comes out.