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Ex CEO: Olympus needs new management

Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - 01:21

Ex-Olympus CEO Michael Woodford calls for new management, no delisting. Rough cut (No reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION). Former Olympus Corp CEO Michael Woodford said on Wednesday (November 23) that Tokyo police were best able to get to the truth behind one of Japan's biggest accounting scandals, as speculation mounts of possible links to organised crime. Woodford, who blew the whistle on accounting tricks at the firm after his sacking a month ago, also said on arrival at Tokyo's Narita International Airport that Olympus needed new management but should be allowed to remain a listed company. Woodford is returning to Japan for the first time since his sacking on October 14. He is due on Thursday (November 24) to meet prosecutors, regulators and police investigating the scandal, in which Olympus has admitted to hiding losses for two decades and using merger and acquisition payments to aid the cover-up. The Briton said he believed the current board of directors needed to be dismissed. Woodford on Friday (November 25) will also attend his first meeting of the board since it ousted him about five weeks ago. Still a director of the camera and endoscope maker despite his sacking as CEO, Woodford had refused to return to Japan earlier, voicing safety concerns. SOUNDBITE (English) FORMER OLYMPUS CEO MICHAEL WOODFORD SAYING: "The existing directors all had received my six letters, they all received the PWC report, most of them were there when the Mickey Mouse companies were purchased and the fees were paid. So they can't be accepted as good custodians. I'm prepared to go back. If the Japanese shareholders don't want me because I've been someone who's not been harmonious, because I've shaken the tree and caused waves, and the truth of what I'm saying has come out, then that would be a very sad statement to the world that Japan hasn't changed." SOUNDBITE (English) FORMER OLYMPUS CEO MICHAEL WOODFORD SAYING: "What we should say now is this is what we know and this is what we're doing. We should include a forensic review of all the transactions which would establish which parties we worked with and which monies went to them. And I would hope that if there was a confidence in the board, whatever may come out, that could stop delisting. At the moment, if we are saying we don't want anything explored because that would stop delisting then that's the wrong way to go about it. That would just store problems up in the future."

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Ex CEO: Olympus needs new management

Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - 01:21