Ex-Olympus CEO Readies for Return to Japan

Michael Woodford, the former chief executive of Olympus admits to being apprehensive as he packs his bags to return to Japan for the first time since blowing the cover off one of the countrys most high-profile corporate scandals.

"It is a little scary to go back but I have started on this journey and plan to finish it," he wrote in an email copied to Reuters on Tuesday.

Fired last month for demanding to know why the board had approved around $1.3 billion worth of obscure fees and deals, the British Olympus veteran of 31-years fled Japan amid fears the money trail might lead to Japans "yakuza" organized crime syndicates.

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Olympus Boots Michael Woodford as Chief Exec.


The struggling Japanese camera maker Olympus wanted a change agent. Just not this much change, evidently.

In a public ousting rare in staid corporate Japan, Olympus on Friday demoted its British chief executive, Michael C. Woodford, after only six months in the job, citing a management culture clash with the company’s mainly Japanese executive team.

"We hoped that he could do things that would be difficult for a Japanese executive to do," Olympus’s chairman, Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, said a news conference. "But he was unable to understand that we need to reflect a management style we have built up in our 92 years as a company, as well as Japanese culture."

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