The AA is “astonished” that its former executive chairman, who was sacked for attacking a colleague, has brought an employment tribunal claim against the organisation.
Bob Mackenzie, who was fired for gross misconduct last year, has reportedly claimed wrongful dismissal due to the extreme pressure he was under, and that he should be due damages.
It is understood that the claim will broach that he was allegedly excluded from talks involving the AA and merger target Hastings. A spokesperson for Mackenzie, contacted by The Guardian, declined to comment.
A spokesperson for the AA, however, provided comment for Board Agenda: “We are astonished that Mr Mackenzie is taking this to an employment tribunal. We stand by our decision to dismiss him for gross misconduct following his unprovoked, sustained and violent assault on another employee of the AA, and will robustly defend any action.”
The AA removed Mackenzie from his role on 1 August 2017 for gross misconduct “with immediate effect”. At the time his family said Mackenzie was suffering “an extremely distressing mental health issue”. It is alleged that he attacked insurance division chief Mike Lloyd in the bar of a country hotel—with the incident caught on a security camera.
He was replaced by John Leach as chairman, and Simon Breakwell as chief executive.
The AA demanded that Mackenzie repay more than £1m in bonuses relating to 2016 and 2017 performance, with him set to miss out on millions more in share options.
Mackenzie joined the AA in 2014 as part of a management buy-in, backed by a number of institutional investors prior to its flotation on the stock market. The move saw then chief executive Chris Jansen leave the business, and the role of chairman and CEO combine into executive chairman.