business

Woodford demands to know why he was fired as Olympus CEO

32 Comments
By Yuri Kageyama

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32 Comments
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He's putting the adage,"The squeaking wheel....." to the test.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

he is so annoying. his attention whoring just further proves he's not fit for any job besides being his own personal PR person

-24 ( +5 / -29 )

Wasn't fired, was removed from the position, he remained in the company until he quit... does AP like making up exciting headlines?

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

“They have a high sense of ethics,” said the shareholder, identified by only his surname Yamaguchi.

whoops yamaguchigumi involved. Nuff said!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

demanded to know why he was fired as chief executive

If he doesn't know by now...

4 ( +6 / -2 )

"The company declined to answer Woodford’s question, saying the issue was pending litigation in Britain where Woodford is contesting his dismissal."

In other words, they have no reason except that he made a big taboo in Japan -- questioning the authorities, and worse yet exposing it to the public.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Mr Woodford most certainly was fired as CEO.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm sure he's working on a doozy of a wrongful termination suit. I'm no legal whiz, but let me go out o a limb here and say I think he has a pretty good case.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Wasn't fired, was removed from the position, he remained in the company until he quit... does AP like making up exciting headlines?

He was fired from his position, but remained on the board of directors.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

he is so annoying. his attention whoring just further proves he's not fit for any job besides being his own personal PR person

So you mean that uncovering a multi-decade, multi-billion dollar corruption scandal at the very heart of one of Japan's premier companies (and getting sacked in the process after 30 loyal years with the company) was just a means to him grabbing 15 minutes of fame??

If he was as you depict him, he could never have worked his way to the top of a traditional Japanese company.

What he has done, more than just uncover corruption at this firm, but uncover the corrupt spirit of Japan Inc, as displayed by the investors who just wanted him shut up and the whole affair hushed over. It shows how many more cases like this must be lurking in the accounts of many major companies.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

He was fired from his position, but remained on the board of directors.

Under both US and UK law, his treatment would be termed "constructive dismissal". I doubt it exists in Japan, but the legal definition is where, "the employer either intentionally created or knowingly permitted working conditions that were so intolerable or aggravated at the time of the employee's resignation that a reasonable employer would realize that a reasonable person in the employee's position would be compelled to resign."

Kind of sums it up pretty well!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Mr Woodford was probably fired because he (and he alone) made a whole lot of japanese businessmen in the Olympus company look very bad for disclosing the fact that they had been cheating the stockholders and many other people out of alot of money. Japanese businessmen dont like to be made to look bad in public and the hit them where it hurt them. I am glad he did what he did....who knows how long this would have been going on if he had not.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The blind leading the blind and clapping their hands. Yep sounds familiar.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

is woodford dense or does he just refuse to accept reality? a majority of shareholders have already rejected several of his plans in prior meetings. at this point, he just looks like a pathetic stalker ex-girlfriend/boyfriend that won't go away. you've done your good deed now don't let the door hit you on the way out!

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

the woodfood circus continues....more press releases to follow

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I sincerely doubt Mr. Woodford would be carrying on like this all by himself, like he was pursuing some sort of lost-cause vendetta. Most likely, he's met with some shareholders who, although a minority, are equally frustrated with the company's governance and want him to keep on fighting. To me, he doesn't stand alone, nor is he the only one among the shareholders and the employees who is royally ticked off by the old boys in charge.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I sincerely doubt Mr. Woodford would be carrying on like this all by himself, like he was pursuing some sort of lost-cause vendetta. Most likely, he's met with some shareholders who, although a minority, are equally frustrated with the company's governance and want him to keep on fighting. To me, he doesn't stand alone, nor is he the only one among the shareholders and the employees who is royally ticked off by the old boys in charge.

lol that's some nice assuming you're doing but it's more than likely not the case. he's desperate, wants a attention and will do anything to try to seek revenge. typical gaijin coming into Japan trying to white-knight everyone and everything and use that magical western knowledge to solve everything. he's pathetic and disgusting and I hope he gets banned from the country or at least fined for being so irritating to the general public.

-13 ( +1 / -14 )

lacha - that brought a tear to my eye. Not from sorrow or pity. Just pure comic relief.

And esp the "typical gaijin ....blah, blah, blah...."

Fact - he does have the support and co-op of a minority group of members - even a few Japanese - so you'd be better suited to researching a little more rather than spin the tired ol' whitey line.

But keep the laughs coming.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

lol that's some nice assuming you're doing but it's more than likely not the case.

Really? I guess you missed this from the article:

A handful of angry shareholders got up and demanded to know why the company had allowed the scandal to happen.

Ahh, but they were drowned out by the clapping of the corporations in the majority voting block. Their shills (excuse me, "shareholder representatives") were told that everything needs to be swept under the rug ASAP, so don't let those who are angry make their point.

Olympus had a solid lock over investor votes because of Japanese institutional investors, such as banks, and other support through a “cross-shareholding” system, in which companies own shares in each other.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

One suggested Woodford be reinstated on the board, along with Masaharu Hamada, an Olympus employee who has won a court case for being unfairly penalized as a whistleblower on an issue unrelated to the cover up of losses. The company is appealing.

“They have a high sense of ethics,” said the shareholder, identified by only his surname Yamaguchi.

That proposal was soundly defeated by clapping - a common way shareholders meetings are run in Japan. Such orchestrated meetings are called “shan shan,” referring to the sound of hands clapping.

Shan shan? sounds more like sham sham.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Dont need a mathamatician to figure out why you were sacked. I think I could sum it up very quickly. You were a threat to their calculations

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Fact - he does have the support and co-op of a minority group of members - even a few Japanese - so you'd be better suited to researching a little more rather than spin the tired ol' whitey line.

pix or it didn't happen. he's alone in his fight and has done nothing but HURT shareholders by making the stock value plummet. typical white knighting. what a deplorable man, I need him to leave the public eye or at least put on a toupee before my eyes fall out.

-11 ( +0 / -11 )

he's pathetic and disgusting and I hope he gets banned from the country or at least fined for being so irritating to the general public.

lacha -- like browny, your comments make me LOL. In case the current status of Japan's economy and its major corporations, like Sony, Panosonic, etc, has somehow escaped you, let me state it briefly -- it sucks. And one of the key reasons for that is that the insular, inward focused Japan Inc. model, with strictly Japanese directors and all the cross-holdings, cannot succeed in a global market. And the fact that the "general public" doesn't understand that is unfortunate. But the think-tank discussed in the other article did -- and clearly predicted its outcome.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

That proposal was soundly defeated by clapping - a common way shareholders meetings are run in Japan.

yay it's kindergarden... I had no idea it was this lame

0 ( +0 / -0 )

At least Olympus didn't employ any Sokaiya at their shareholder meeting... or did they?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sounds like time to do another "Hagetaka" series. Some of these characters are right out of the show.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Three cheers and three beers for Mr. Woodford. For us gaijin this is a moment in Japanese history to savor. Mr. Woodford was "rotated out" (as they say in Japan) from Olympus for blowing the whistle on their dirty doings and has come back in triumph. Three more cheers and three more beers for Mr. Woodford.

To those who choose to put down Mr. Woodford, please consider the following. Mr. Woodford could have been a good company man and looked the other way while collecting his handsome salary. But he put ethics before all else and dared to question Olympus's crooked bosses about the funny finances that he found.

I'll tell you it is not good to be fired. You not only lose your job but you also become the loneliest person in the universe. Supposed friends shun you and no one wants to hear your story.

This is a rate happy ending. It was not preordained. Mr. Woodford took the chance of his life. That he won is a minor miracle given the corruption and prejudice against foreigners in this country.

So three more cheers and three more beers for the man.

As an Olympus user I'm glad Olympus got its deserved kick in the rear when it did. Eventually the truth would have come out. But maybe too late to save the company.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The scandal is certainly a problem but let's remember that Woodford was involved in the company for years and didn't bring this to the fore until he was obviously in trouble with the board of directors anyway. It's a little odd that he claims he had no knowledge of the scandal as he clawed his way to the top. So, why was he fired? That's a rhetorical question, obviously. This is Japan. The nail that stands up gets pounded down.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Woodford demands to know why he was fired as Olympus CEO

Perhaps his leadership and management style was incompatible with the direction the board wished to take the company? Just sayin'

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This dude would be fired anywhere, not just here in Japan! Go back to the USA and try and mess with the upper management at any big company and see how quickly you will be flying out the door! So I really doubt this is just a Japanese thing, bet this happens in the UK etc..as well.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

i guess both parties are foreign to "at-will" employment practice. i don't get it, though. there should be line a mile long to interview him and give him a job, just to rattle up the complacent management of many japanese companies...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Mr Woodford is on a hiding to nothing if he thinks he will achieve anything by taking legal action in Japan. He will lose, guaranteed. It's time for Mr Woodford to move on, leaving Japan and its corrupt, backward and failing business practices to sink into bankruptcy and ruin.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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