Automobile

Napleton suit alleges ex-general manager stole trade secrets, raided employees for competitor

McDonald worked in California before he was hired by Napleton Kia of Carmel in May 2020. Multiple employees he had worked with on the West Coast were also hired by the Kia store or one of the group’s other dealerships, according to the suit.

The lawsuit claims almost all of those employees left the Kia store without advance notice in February. Napleton Automotive blames that on an “aggressive raiding strategy” coordinated by McDonald and Trey Rohrman, who at the time was director of Rohrman Automotive’s dealership operations in Lafayette.

As general manager of Napleton Kia of Carmel, McDonald agreed to several confidentiality policies and was in charge of hiring all management positions, developing goals for different departments and overseeing several forms of dealership records, the suit claims.

Records to which McDonald had access included account and sales plans, financial information, benchmarks, merchandising and stocking strategies, marketing information, customer account information and documentation, and product information, according to the suit.

Before he resigned, McDonald shared confidential information with Trey Rohrman about Napleton’s business practices, the lawsuit alleges, including customer lists and financial information.

In emails, McDonald called Trey Rohrman “boss” and made comments about the information he was forwarding, including, “This will be good comparison information for us,” the suit alleges.

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