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Fired Olympus CEO dismisses internal probe

26 Comments

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26 Comments
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This is just the tip of the iceberg. How many other J corporations do the same? I vowed never to work for a Japanese company ever again years ago.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

This little spy Woodford just won't leave it alone will he. A corporate spy. Or just a jilted lover fresh from his sacking.

-25 ( +2 / -25 )

Hes right, IF Olympus is serious & thats highly unlikely, they arent doing diddly!

Why on earth the tax office hasnt shown up & started hauling away card board boxes of stuff clearly shows Olympus & Jpn Inc are going to work together to cover this up rather than investigate & prosecute in all likelyhood.

This has & will damage more than olympus

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Mr Wolf, you've been raiding the hen house at night, please investigate yourself and let us know what you find!

Only a complete idiot would expect Olympus to conduct a legitimate investigation of itself. Right now executives are holding up the corner of the rug while their minions sweep everything under it. Business as usual in Japan!

3 ( +6 / -3 )

While I agree 100% with Woodford blowing the lid off of Olympus' corruption, or at least gross incompetence, the net effect of this will be neagtive for Japan's becoming more global. Because instead of other companies' boards seeing this as a lesson of what can happen if you don't become more tansparent/do things to international standards, just the opposite will happen. They will all circle the wagons even more, and see this as what happens when you let "gaijins" get too powerful. Which will set Japan back even more, since companies need desperately to become more truly global, and less insular.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

herefornow, exactly while the rest of the world changes the wagons are circled. Until there are no more wagons! It is regrettable that it took a gaigin to make this an issue. But we all see it every day and a local would almost never be able to point out. Regrettable that this is now in the public domain...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

While I admire Mr Woodford for his courage, I think it's just a waste of time & energy. This is Japan.....

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I'm sure this is a big thorn in Olympus' side, so Woodford has already proven it not to be a waste of time. Also, the more light he shines on them the less his sacking looks bad on his resume. Don't forget he will probably want a new job after all this. I do agree with you though that the end result is not likely to change diddly squat in Japan (at least not for the better).

2 ( +5 / -2 )

Seems he knows how things "work" here. He gets my respect for speaking out and making it an issue. I wish more people here would do that!! These old guys are ruining the country - or, have already ruined it.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

This is messed up. So sad. More corporate bs from Japan

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

They are burning documents as I type

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

This is the reason why their is going to be a third lost decade.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

and likely a 4th, 5th.

All this rot & a lot doesnt even need to be happening!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It's still too early to say what exactly happened.

One possibility is that it was money Olympus wanted to invest,

the huge sum that was paid to the advisor,

but such that the Japanese tax authorities would be unaware there was such a sum.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

To the shredder!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I have an Olympus fe-220D on my desk, love the little bugger but it now feels a little tainted having read the article. Well done Michael Woodford, for the whistle blow on Olympus which will affect my next purchase decision of digital equipment

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The numbers suggest strongly that the top management of Olympus is grossly incompetent or wantonly felonious, possibly both.

I don't see how this particular imbroglio, at this stage of revelations, categorically reflects poorly on corporate Japan, or even Japan, but I do understand that it does to those disposed to paint accusingly with broad strokes. (I've no bone to pick with such folks. They're happily pursuing their druthers.)

If there is to be any sort of acid test outcome, it will be in how earnestly and thoroughly the pursuit of truth is served.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

While I admire Mr Woodford for his courage, I think it's just a waste of time & energy. This is Japan.....

I don't know. Somewhere, sometime, someone is going to have second thoughts.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

His 30 years of work for Olympus will probably just be ignored, they also have the supreme court case open against another employee for whistle blowing price fixing, when is the chairman going to jail.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Millions of dollars for advice?

What a strange company!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

1% of $1.3 billion is $13million not $687million advisor fees typically are between 1 and 2%. This is some serious fraud.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The majority of businesses all over the world do similar things all the time. It's only the degree that differs here. I'm pretty sure that if you look carefully into any high level business person's history, you'll find evidence of under the table deals etc... It's not just Japan. Politics is the same and the two go hand in hand. Just sour grapes on the part of the sacked.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Iken - the majority of businesses all over the world do not fire their president & CEO after a 10 min inside kangaroo court.

And esp they don't do if there's an obvious hot investigation going on.

And I don't think Woodford is finding the grapes particularly sour - in fact quite sweet I suspect.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Iken? -- nonsense. You, obviously have no experience/exposure outside of Japan and know nothing of what you speak. First off, in most major countries stock holders have real power, and would dump any managers who had any hint of impropriety. The mutual funds that own much of the stock would never take the risk of being associated with something like this. Plus, there are truly "outside" directors. Second, have you heard of the Oxley-Sarbanes Act? It requires that all CEO's of publicly traded companies in the U.S. sign a statement that says there is nothing "fishy" in the numbers -- under criminal penalty if found to be false. The day will never come when Japan gets that serious about this kind of thing. Because everyone knows that much of Japan Inc. is a house-of-cards that would come tumbling down if the way these companies operate was brought to light. Third, many large companies in the U.S. have a significant number of foreigners as directors, who don't succomb to this nationalist nonsense of protecting Japan Inc. that is so prevalent in Japan.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Google "Ex-Olympus CEO Woodford says seeking police protection" to watch an informative interview of Woodford by Reuters. Also "OLYMPUS: Bringing It Into Focus–A Special Breach Of Trust?" which puts a clear case to suggest Olympus was basically taken over by the yakuza in 2008, in a similar way to Lehman Brothers Japan.

All very very interesting, and I wish Woodford the best of luck in trying to deal with this. I won't hold my breath that any Japanese organisation or legal body is going to do anything here, but certainly the international repercussions for Japan, and Japanese companies are going to come, if it doesn't do something about this.

In a funny way, Kikukawa is right about the cultural argument he tossed out to explain ousting Woodford. It's certainly not the Japanese way of doing business! There appears to be no obligation to shareholders or employees, either explicit or implicit, in the way these dinosaurs behave themselves.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Goodjob Woodward! Japanese people are with you! Bring down the fraudsters.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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