Olympus Chairman Steps Down Amid Acquisition Scrutiny

By Erin Harrison October 26, 2011

Amid more intense inquiries into the company’s acquisitions, Olympus Corp. said Wednesday that Chairman and President Tsuyoshi Kikukawa is stepping down.

The 70-year-old Kikukawa resigned citing investor and customer concerns in the two weeks since he fired Chief Executive Michael Woodford, the Wall Street Journal reported.

According to media reports, Woodford said he was terminated because he questioned “steep payments” for acquisitions Olympus made before he joined the board and called for Kikukawa to resign.

The Tokyo-based company said Woodford had “largely diverted” from the rest of the management team and that the rift was causing decision-making problems.

At a press conference Wednesday, the camera and medical device maker said the move was to “take responsibility for the troubles caused to customers, business partners and investors over recent media reports that have sent Olympus stock plunging,” the Journal said.

The ousted chief executive of Olympus Corp. says the company isn’t doing enough to investigate a massive $687 million payment to mysterious financial advisers as part of a takeover, The Associated Press reported.

Woodford told The AP: “You need forensic accountants going in quickly, very quickly.”

Woodford, a 51-year-old British national, was among a handful of foreigners leading major Japanese companies. He became Olympus' first non-Japanese president in April amid a push to make itself more globally competitive, according to the AP.

Olympus shares, which have lost half their value in the last two weeks, fell 7.6 percent Wednesday, the Journal said.


Erin Harrison is Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives, for TMC, where she oversees the company's strategic editorial initiatives, including the launch of several new print and online initiatives. She plays an active role in the print publications and TechZone360, covering IP communications, information technology and other related topics. To read more of Erin's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves

Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Consumer Privacy in the Digital Era: Three Trends to Watch

By: Special Guest    1/18/2018

Digital advertising has exploded in recent years, with the latest eMarketer data forecasting $83 billion in revenue this year and continued growth on …

Read More

CES 2018: Terabit Fiber - Closer Than We Think

By: Doug Mohney    1/17/2018

One of the biggest challenges for 5G and last mile 10 Gig deployments is not raw data speeds, but middle mile and core networks. The wireless industry…

Read More

10 Benefits of Drone-Based Asset Inspections

By: Frank Segarra    1/15/2018

Although a new and emerging technology, (which is still evolving), in early 2018, most companies are not aware of the possible benefits they can achie…

Read More

VR Could Change Entertainment Forever

By: Special Guest    1/11/2018

VR could change everything from how we play video games to how we interact with our friends and family. VR has the power to change how we consume all …

Read More

Making Connections - The Value of Data Correlation

By: Special Guest    1/5/2018

The app economy is upon us, and businesses of all stripes are moving to address it. In this age of digital transformation, businesses rely on applicat…

Read More