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Olympus ex-CEO campaigns to get his old job back

Wednesday, Dec 14, 2011 - 01:07

Olympus ex-CEO returns to Tokyo to campaign for his old job back, as the firm prepares to meet a crucial deadline to keep its stock exchange listing. Rough Cut (no reporter narration)

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Olympus ex-CEO Michael Woodford landed in Tokyo late on Tuesday (December 13) a day ahead of a crucial deadline that could see the Japanese scandal-ridden camera and medical equipment maker delisted from the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The 92-year-old company has been engulfed in a $1.7 billion accounting fraud, and has vowed to iron out its accounts in the eagerly awaited filing due later on Wednesday. Woodford is on his second trip to Japan, since fleeing to Britain after being sacked, to campaign for his return to the helm of the company. But he faces a battle with the Olympus board, which plans to resign only after picking its own slate of successors. Woodford says the existing directors are too discredited to be in a position to choose their successors. He is assembling his own team of candidates to put to shareholders, with him as nominated CEO. (SOUNDBITE) (English) OLYMPUS EX-CEO MICHAEL WOODFORD SAYING: "Those people who are described as 'yes-men' should not be choosing or having any influence on the future management of this company or any strategic decisions, that should wait till the new board is in position." (SOUNDBITE) (English) OLYMPUS EX-CEO MICHAEL WOODFORD SAYING: "The company is in a vulnerable position particularly with people litigating because of what's going on in the organisation and if there was a smooth transition to a new board I am prepared to lead then those risks of litigation by the shareholders in particular will be reduced." Some big foreign shareholders have openly backed Woodford's come-back campaign, but the 51-year-old will have to win over employees as well as Japanese shareholders who worry he may not be the right man to lead the company back to health.

Olympus ex-CEO campaigns to get his old job back

Wednesday, Dec 14, 2011 - 01:07

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