Olympus settles claim with ex-boss Michael Woodford

 

Michael Woodford, the whistleblower who exposed a massive fraud at camera maker Olympus shortly after being made chief executive, yesterday won a multi-million pound, out-of-court settlement in a dramatic, last-minute deal.

The two sides agreed terms in the dying minutes before an employment tribunal was set to release witness statements which could have thrown a fresh and damaging new light on the activities of the Japanese technology giant.

Media from around the world have convened on the drab tribunal room in London's Docklands to hear the case and get further details on one of the biggest corporate scandals to have hit Japan in recent years.

The case was adjourned twice on Monday, scheduled to start again at 10am yesterday, only to be postponed until the two sides announced a deal just before 11am.

Reports suggested the two sides were closing in on a deal at around £10m but neither would disclose details.

Mr Woodford, 51, had 44 months left to run on his contract when he was fired.

He had been suing for unfair dismissal under UK whistleblowing legislation, saying the case should be tried in Britain because he remained a director of the UK business and spent most of his time here despite running a Japanese corporation.

Mr Woodford was sacked at a board meeting and ordered to give up his company computer and mobile phone and vacate his company apartment on the spot. He was told to get a bus to the airport and return straight to the UK.

Instead, fearing for his safety after media reports suggested organised crime might be involved, he held a secret meeting with a journalist in a Tokyo park and handed over his evidence of the fraud and cover up. He realised that publicising his situation was the best way to maximise his safety.

Olympus said he was fired for not understanding its culture. Tsuyoshi Kikawa, chairman at the time, described his public questioning of the company as "aberrant" and "unforgiveable". He and many more board members have since resigned.

Olympus eventually admitted covering up loss-making securities in the Cayman Islands and other tax havens since the early 1990s.

Judge G Foxwell said he was pleased the case had not gone to the full five day hearing that had been scheduled.

"I congratulate the parties. It is in everyone's interest to see this resolved by agreement", he said.

Mr Woodford said: "I hope it helps Olympus move forward and also my own life and family. Hopefully, today is a closure – a line has been drawn."

News
Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal
peopleThreats follows actress' speech on feminism and equality at the UN
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
Life and Style
tech
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Sport
John Terry, Frank Lampard
footballChelsea captain sends signed shirt to fan whose mum had died
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
tv
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
life
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
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

IT Project manager - Web E-commerce

£65000 Per Annum Benefits + bonus: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: If you are...

Trainee / Experienced Recruitment Consultants

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Soho

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40000: SThree: As a Recruitment Consultant, y...

Trainee Recruitment Consultants - Banking & Finance

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits