Johnson Controls fires consultant over affair with CEO

14 October 2014

Automotive supplier Johnson Controls has fired Lichter & Ihle over the extra-marital affair between its CEO, Alex Molinaroli, and Kristin Ihle, a Principal of the consulting firm. Molinaroli will continue to act as the CEO of the company. Johnson Controls had been a client of Lichter & Ihle for many years.

Johnson Controls is an in 1885 established technology and industrial company, that creates products, services, and solutions to optimize energy and operational efficiencies of buildings, automotive batteries, electronics and interior systems for automobiles. The company has over 170,000 employees worldwide that operate from 1,300 locations in more than 150 countries.

For many years, Johnson Controls has been a client of Lichter & Ihle, a U.S. consulting firm that provides expertise in among others talent management and organisational development.

Alex Molinaroli - Kristin Ihle

After the CEO, President and Chairman of Johnson Controls, Alex Molinaroli, confessed his affair with Kristin Ihle, Principal at Lichter & Ihle, to his family in May, the long-time partnership between the two firms came under pressure, which resulted in the firing of the consulting firm. “To avoid any perception or potential future conflicts, management elected to terminate the consulting firm,” comments a spokesman of the automotive supplier in a statement.

Johnson Controls also states that Molinaroli will continue his role as CEO, President and Chairman, a role he assumed in October 2013 after a career of 30 years at the firm, with “the full support of the board.” Although Molinaroli was able to keep his job, the affair had a nasty aftermath for him on the personal level. After his wife found out about the affair, she not only threatened Ihle, but also fired a gun in the Molinaroli-house and smashed its interior, after which she filed for divorce.

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