Toshiba CEO steps down

cashToshiba Chief Executive Hisao Tanaka and a number of key executives will step down in September to take responsibility for accounting irregularities.

The Japanese conglomerate has hired a third-party committee to investigate past book-keeping practices, and sources have said the probe was focusing on the role top officials played in the irregularities.

Apparently he will not be led to the Toshiba carpark, be required by custom to compose a Haiku on the transcendence of life, or hack into his bowels with a piece of sharp cutlery.

The Japanese conglomerate has hired a third-party committee to investigate past book-keeping practices, and sources have said the probe was focusing on the role top officials played in the irregularities.

Apparently the exit of Tanaka along Vice Chairman Norio Sasaki is supposed to be a sacrifice to shareholders who are probably going to demand blood when the committee reports back.

Over half of the board was likely to be replaced at the company’s next shareholders’ meeting in September.

A Toshiba spokeswoman said the company had not yet made any decision on the matter and was waiting for the third-party committee to release its findings, but it is fairly clear that word has got out about what will happen next.

The Nikkei Business Daily earlier reported that Toshiba was expected to announce Tanaka’s resignation when the report was released next week.

Tosh announced accounting irregularities in early April, two months after financial regulators ordered a report on past bookkeeping. It has been unable to close its books for the past financial year in the meantime and suspended its year-end dividend.

Sources said previously that investigators’ central theory is that executives, worried about the impact of the 2011 Fukushima disaster on its nuclear unit, set overly aggressive targets in new businesses such as smart meters and electronic toll booths, encouraging the understating of costs and overestimating of revenue.