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Olympus ex-CEO not "begging" to return

Friday, November 25, 2011 - 01:40

Nov. 25 - The British ex-CEO of Japan's Olympus Corp, Michael Woodford, returned to Japan for a meeting of directors, but said he wasn't ''begging'' to return and clean up the mess. Ruairidh Villar reports

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A rock-star return on Friday to the company that fired him -- if only for a short meeting. Michael Woodford may be back in Japan -- but he says he's certainly not begging for his job. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MICHAEL WOODFORD, FORMER CEO OF OLYMPUS, SAYING: "I'm not obsessed about returning back - I've got a wonderful legal position and I will be comfortably well off. We'll win the case. I was sacked for gross misconduct, any of you who look at the case. So if I'm not wanted back -- and it's the shareholders who'll make the decision -- then that's fine by me." Woodford got the boot from the top job at Olympus a month ago, after blowing the whistle on a series of dubious deals. The company has since admitted to using some of 1.3 billion dollars of acquisition payments to cover up investment losses. But Olympus still maintains it sacked Woodford after he failed to adapt to Japanese culture and the company's management style. Now, with Olympus fighting to avoid delisting, some major shareholders are calling for his return. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MICHAEL WOODFORD, FORMER CEO OF OLYMPUS, SAYING: "Would the institutions believe there is transparency and honesty if I was the Chief Executive? Would the institutions believe there was transparency and honesty, that's the most important point. Are our accounts realistic, is what's been said?" Olympus stock has rebounded 77 percent in just the last four days -- on rumours that the company can escape delisting. But it's still worth less than half the value it had the day before Woodford's dismissal. Ruairidh VIllar, Reuters

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Olympus ex-CEO not "begging" to return

Friday, November 25, 2011 - 01:40