Whistleblower Woodford seeks new Olympus directors
Jim Armitage is the City editor of The Independent and London Evening Standard group of newspapers. He has been a reporter and editor for more than 20 years and was recently shortlisted for the Press Gazette financial journalist of the year and The Society of Editors financial journalist of the year awards. He contributes news, investigative reports and comment to the Independent titles plus a daily column in the Evening Standard.
Tuesday 13 December 2011
The British whistleblower who revealed the $1.7bn (£1bn) Olympus accounting scandal was today meeting allies he plans to put forward as potential new leaders of the company.
Michael Woodford said he had been "travelling around the world" in the first part of this week, interviewing potential co-directors as he attempts to create an alternative slate of directors to run the company with him at the helm.
However, the disgraced existing executives, even though they said they will resign, have picked their own slate of directors.
Given the close ties in the Japanese business world between executives and shareholders, it is by no means guaranteed that Mr Woodford, who was sacked for blowing the whistle soon after starting his new job as chief executive of the company, will be allowed to return.
Mr Woodford said: "I guess I could give it all up and go and lie on a beach, but I don't want to let down the many good people who still work for Olympus and have asked me to go back and sort it out."
Mr Woodford is expected to return to Japan later today for further talks with allies and other employees in an attempt to persuade them he is the right person to get the company back on track.
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