65-year-old Bob Mackenzie was sacked after attacking a colleague.
Former AA chairman Bob Mackenzie was sacked from the company last year for gross misconduct, but now he is suing the breakdown recovery organisation for £225m following his dismissal for a ‘sustained and violent assault’ on a colleague.
Mackenzie was sacked on 1 August 2017 after his physical attack on the AA’s head of insurance, Mike Lloyd, at a five-star hotel in Surrey. The 65-year-old former executive now claims he was wrongfully dismissed from his £1.2m-a-year job, under considerable pressure and had mixed anti-depressants and alcohol before the incident. The £225m in damages being demanded by his lawyers is said to cover the income Mackenzie has missed out on from shares he was entitled to under a company bonus scheme.
The AA maintains that its former chairman is not entitled to the money because of his dismissal and that it is confident of winning the case. ‘The group has not made a provision for these amounts, as the group expects to be successful in rigorously defending these claims,’ the company said in a statement. ‘However, the group will incur legal costs of approximately £1m to defend these claims during the next two financial years, which it would seek to recover from Bob Mackenzie when the litigation concludes.’
Mackenzie’s lawyers are set to argue the case, saying that the executive was made ill by the pressure of heading up the organisation and that he had been excluded from key talks with potential merger firms. Mackenzie had been chairman since 2014 and oversaw the AA’s flotation on the stock market. The company has just announced profits for the last financial year of £307m.