Olympus pledges boardroom clearout over ¥132bn scandal

Hi-tech giant may also take legal action against executives in aftermath of damning inquiry

The precision equipment maker Olympus has pledged to overhaul its entire board after an independent report criticised the management "cancer" at the heart of the company.

It is also considering moves to bring legal action against those responsible for covering up ¥132.2bn (£1.09bn) losses over a 20-year period.

Shuichi Takayama, its president, faced the press a day after publication of a damning report from a panel set up to probe four controversial takeovers by the company. He said: "Our corporate governance was severely criticised. As the representative of the company, I apologise sincerely.

"We deeply regret that we have given a very negative impression to Japan and possibly the world."

One director, Makoto Nakatsuka, resigned yesterday and the company signalled others were likely to follow.

It follows the resignation of former president Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, the vice- president Hisashi Mori and auditor Hideo Yamada.

On Tuesday, the independent committee, led by a former supreme court judge, Tatsuo Kainaka, called for legal action. It said the core part of the company's management was "rotten and the parts around it were also contaminated by the rot".

It also called for an overhaul of the board and said: "Olympus should remove its malignant tumour and literally renew itself."

The company said yesterday that the whole board could go after it had filed its second-quarter earnings. The company is in a race against time to file its numbers before 14 December, otherwise it will be delisted from the Tokyo Stock Exchange after 62 years.

Michael Woodford, who was ousted as chief executive after two weeks for raising "serious governance concerns" has been campaigning to uncover the wrongdoing at the company.

Mr Takayama yesterday admitted: "With his disclosures, he did something that we could not do ourselves, and I recognise that." Mr Woodford is keen to return to the helm of the company to oversee its restructuring and has lobbied the board to call an extraordinary general meeting to appoint a new management team.

Such a meeting would not take place before the end of February, Mr Takayama said. On the plans for a new president he added: "We are still considering the plan that we will submit.

"We don't know what Mr Woodford is thinking but he has said he will pursue a proxy fight, so we think there will certainly be a proposal."

The company has bowed to other recommendations in the report and will establish independent panels to oversee its management and auditing.

Another panel will scrutinise 70 past and current executives and senior figures at the company.

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
musicHunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original  manuscripts
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
lifeAiming to show breasts in a non-sexual way for cancer awareness
New Articles
i100... while following the referendum
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
New Articles
i100... with this review
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Frost will star in the Doctor Who 2014 Christmas special
tvNick Frost, Natalie Gumede and Michael Troughton step up
Arts and Entertainment
Matthew Beard, Ben Schnetzer, Douglas Booth and Jack Farthing in ‘The Riot Club’
filmReview: Sheer nastiness of Riot Club takes you aback
Arts and Entertainment
tvBut something’s not quite right
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Senior BA - Motor and Home Insurance

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

Market Risk & Control Manager

Up to £100k or £450p/d: Saxton Leigh: My client is a leading commodities tradi...

SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £320 - £330 p/d - 6 months

£320 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

Head of Audit

To £75,000 + Pension + Benefits + Bonus: Saxton Leigh: My client is looking f...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week