Olympus’ chief exec, Michael Woodford, is hopping on a plane back to Tokyo to clear up the mess he unearthed.
The board sacked Woodford because of “management differences” but really it looked suspiciously like they were shooting the messenger.
Woodford was blamed for Olympus’ staggering loss of value as a company – because he opened his mouth about an alleged billion-dollar losses cover-up.
At the time, Olympus chairman Shuichi Takayama said of Woodford’s discovery: “If this secret information hadn’t been leaked there would have been no change in our corporate value.”
Investors have been told by Olympus execs, reports the Wall Street Journal, that at the very least, the company hasn’t funnelled any money into organised crime. Which must be a relief.
Still, regulators seem to think it’s too early to rule out that possibility. The independent panel Olympus brought in to investigate hasn’t found any evidence of that yet.
Woodford will be helping Japanese regulators cast their eye over Olympus’ books before catching a flight to the States to have a look over there, too. He’ll also be meeting with the board, which is in stark contrast to the company’s prior approach.
Although Olympus was originally tight lipped about mystery investments in the Cayman Islands, which were quickly dissolved, it admitted in early Novemer what could be the longest running scandal in Japanese corporate history.