Hasselblad sues its ex-boss over deals with Sony

Hong Kong-based former chief executive is accused of wrongful and negligent conduct

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 03 September, 2014, 3:41am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 03 September, 2014, 5:52am

A top camera company is suing its Hong Kong-based former senior executive for undisclosed damages, claiming he caused losses while placing orders with Sony, a High Court writ says.

Hasselblad Limited and Uferahal Limited, formerly known as Hasselblad Asia-Pacific (Hong Kong) Limited, say Larry Hansen failed in his duty while working as chief executive officer for the group between July 2011 and October last year.

The Hasselblad group, whose cameras were used in America's Apollo moon-landing missions in 1968, allege Hansen allowed the group's subsidiaries to enter into purchase agreements with Sony without proper authority and disregarded the requirements and financial capabilities of the group.

"As a result of wrong and negligent conduct on the part of [Hansen] during his employment as CEO of the Hasselblad Group, [the two plaintiffs] have suffered losses and damage, for which [Hansen] is liable to provide compensation and/or other relief," the writ says.

The writ alleges Hansen's management of the business resulted in significant delays in product launches, loss of sales, revenue and business opportunities.

The two companies accuse Hansen of authorising his subordinate to issue purchase orders with new suppliers for camera components in breach of the group's order to freeze costs.

They also claim Hansen, of Pat Heung, Yuen Long, was negligent in managing the liquidity of the company, causing the group to suffer serious cash-flow problems.

Hansen is also accused of discussing the sale of the group with third parties, taking leave of absence without approval, mistreating colleagues and causing some employees to resign.

Hansen, however, is meanwhile suing Hasselblad, claiming it failed to pay him his full salary and benefits when he left.

The case is due to be heard at the city's Labour Tribunal later this month.