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Olympus board sacks British company president and CEO

Unanimous vote ousts Michael C.Woodford

In what was seen as a positive and radical move just over six months ago, Olympus Corp. promoted Michael Woodford to the position of company President. Just over two weeks ago the company add the role of CEO to Woodford's responsibilities citing: "It has been six months since Mr. Woodford was appointed as President of Olympus Corporation, and in that time, the Board have been extremely pleased with the progress made under Mr. Woodford's leadership in this role, which has exceeded the expectations at the time of his appointment."

But today Woodford is without a job as the Olympus board unanimously sacked him. This sharp change in atmosphere has dented the Olympus share price and opened up a new debate about western management style in a Japanese company. Western management rejuvenation of large Japanese companies is nothing new. Carlos Ghosn of Nissan and Sir Howard Stringer of Sony are highly successful examples of western bosses who have turned around Japanese companies. It all seemed that Olympus was keen to profit from these examples when it made Woodford president. And they didn't need to find an outsider as Woodford has worked for Olympus for 30 years and was promoted from his position as European boss of the Olympus medical imaging business.

Financial commentators are looking dimly at Woodford's sacking, suggesting that the company should have been better prepared for the consequences of Woodford's appointment. Olympus' management took exception to Woodford's style and execution, which they felt ran a coach and horses through traditional management structures within the company. Woodford suggests that there was sensitivity to his investigation into potentially dodgy accounting practices. Whatever the actual explanation is, this is bad news for Olympus from a financial perspective.

The story has hit the financial headlines because of the interesting of mix of West versus Japanese styles of corporate governance. Naturally, we at FTU hope that this news does not damage Olympus' position as an innovative camera brand.

A full statement by Olympus Corp. can be found here.

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Olympus board sacks British company president and CEO

Four Thirds User editorial team Olympus board sacks British company president and CEO
Two weeks after being promoted to CEO of Olympus Corp., Brit Michael C. Woodford has been unceremoni... (more)

Ian Re: Olympus board sacks British company president and CEO
Woodford was sacked last Friday. He was looking for the resignation of the company chairman (who had... (more)

fluffy Re: Olympus board sacks British company president and CEO
That's a rather disturbing tale, no what which account is true, or as is likely neither is. It sure ... (more)

Barr1e Re: Olympus board sacks British company president and CEO
...but. Something found when the engine was stripped? Regards. Barr1e... (more)

Ian Re: Olympus board sacks British company president and CEO
There is no sign of this blowing over. Woodford is alleging fraud to the tune of over $600M, much of... (more)

fluffy Re: Olympus board sacks British company president and CEO
600M $, not ? That's a load of cash. What sort of fraud is being alleged? Bribes? Theft? Embezzlem... (more)

hschnee Re: Olympus board sacks British company president and CEO
This is worrisome for the future of Olympus cameras. Even if there was no wrongdoing, the SLR and mi... (more)

Ian Re: Olympus board sacks British company president and CEO
Its normal to be charged around 1% or maybe 2% of the value of company acquisitions by advisory c... (more)

John Perriment Re: Olympus board sacks British company president and CEO
All I can say is it's no use worrying about a situation which is beyond our control or influence and... (more)

alsoly Re: Olympus board sacks British company president and CEO
Statement published on Olympus gloabal website today: [url]http://www.olympus-global.com/en/corc/... (more)

Graham Re: Olympus board sacks British company president and CEO
[url]http://www.olympus-global.com/en/corc/ir/tes/pdf/nr111019.pdf[/url]... (more)

Ian Re: Olympus board sacks British company president and CEO
I have just posted this as an update to my [I]In an update to this story, Olympus Japan has issued... (more)

fluffy Re: Olympus board sacks British company president and CEO
Wow just wow. If I had Olympus investments and thankfully my only investments are in their produc... (more)

Graham Re: Olympus board sacks British company president and CEO
It will be very interesting to see who buys any shares that are for sale at the low price, as they a... (more)

hughster Re: Olympus board sacks British company president and CEO
I live in Japan, and have actually met the principals in the case (Woodford and Kikugawa). I think t... (more)

John Perriment Re: Olympus board sacks British company president and CEO
I think Olympus can and will recover. They do not appear to have a cashflow crisis, the medical b... (more)

hughster Re: Olympus board sacks British company president and CEO
I am far from convinced that Olympus is in a healthy state right now, despite their sales of the end... (more)

jpmiloilo Re: Olympus board sacks British company president and CEO
It really doesn't look good. There are also no new developments in their endoscopy system. The Olym... (more)

Ians Tata Re: Olympus board sacks British company president and CEO
A new article from Reuters news service about the scandal here: [url]http://www.reuters.com/article... (more)

Ned Re: Olympus board sacks British company president and CEO
According to that PwC report it doesn't sound like Olympus did anything wrong at all, but the inv... (more)

hughster Re: Olympus board sacks British company president and CEO
The word in some quarters here in Japan is that this is all a yakuza shakedown (not just the Gyrus, ... (more)

Ian Re: Olympus board sacks British company president and CEO
This is quite credible and Woodford hinted as much. He was nervous about his safety after the boa... (more)

hughster Re: Olympus board sacks British company president and CEO
Ian - not only wrong, but criminal. I have close contacts with the audit department of a Japanese ba... (more)

whatapicture Re: Olympus board sacks British company president and CEO
There was a small mention of the Olympus scandal in the financial section of the Mail on Sunday. P... (more)

hughster Re: Olympus board sacks British company president and CEO
Japan Times has started to cover it, as have the Japan Bloomberg writers. It's made it into the Nikk... (more)

John Perriment Re: Olympus board sacks British company president and CEO
We must be careful, we don't know for sure yet. Wrong, almost certainly. Criminal, that first nee... (more)

hughster Re: Olympus board sacks British company president and CEO
Sorry, what I meant was "If Olympus have had dealings with the mob, that would be a criminal offence... (more)

Wee man Re: Olympus board sacks British company president and CEO
Sunday times carried a write up also. Made interesting reading.... (more)

Ian Re: Olympus board sacks British company president and CEO
Update, Olympus Corp. Chairman, Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, who both appointed Michael Woodford to the positi... (more)