Updating our previous coverage of the disastrous goings-on at Olympus, which can be found here, Reuters has today reported that Olympus Corp’s board has signaled plans to quit over the much publicised $1.7 billion accounting fraud. The board also looks likely to want to pick the team of potential successors, triggering a battle for control of the Japanese firm with the former CEO Michael Woodford who blew the whistle on the scandal. Woodford, fired in October after questioning murky M&A deals, is campaigning to return to head up the 92-year-old maker of cameras and endoscopes and has called for an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting to pick a new board.
“Our corporate governance was severely criticized. As the representative of the company, I apologize sincerely,” Olympus President Shuichi Takayama told reporters.
The full article can be found here.
Reuters also states; A damning report on Tuesday, prepared by outside legal and accounting experts, said Olympus management was “rotten to the core”, ruled by a culture of absolute corporate loyalty and a desire to flatter financial performance.
Police, prosecutors and the securities watchdog are still probing the Olympus affair and are expected to step up their investigations now that the independent panel has issued its report.