Ex-CEO of Olympus blows the whistle on fraud, culture of dysfunction in Japan

Welcome to Capital Account. Recently, top bosses and executives at Olympus, the Japanese manufacturer of medical equipment and cameras, pleaded guilty to fraud in one of Japan’s largest corporate scandals. Today, we talk to former President and CEO of Olympus Michael Woodford about the scandal and its implications. Woodford made headlines in spring 2011 when he became president of the company – the first Westerner to climb the ranks of a major Japanese corporation. And in October 2011, he received another promotion to CEO. Yet just two weeks later, in mid-October of last year, he was unexpectedly fired by the board. According to the Financial Times, Olympus portrayed him as an outspoken Westerner who “diverted from the rest of the management team.”

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