Arab Today, arab today olympus to face noisy shareholders meeting
Last Updated : GMT 12:50:53
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Olympus to face noisy shareholders meeting

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Olympus to face noisy shareholders meeting

Tokyo - AFP

Olympus on Friday will hold a special shareholders\' meeting in Tokyo where the scandal-tainted company is expected to face investor backlash over its nominees for the board of directors. The meeting comes as Olympus attempts to rebuild its reputation following a $1.7 billion cover-up scandal, which sparked lawsuits and the arrest of company executives, dealing a huge blow to Japan\'s corporate governance image. The current management of the medical equipment and camera maker is due to nominate former executives from its main banks, a move that is expected to be approved by a shareholder vote despite the vocal objections of some investors. Olympus has nominated Yasuyuki Kimoto, a former senior managing director of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking, and Hideaki Fujizuka, a former executive officer of Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, as chairman and director. Also nominated, for the post of president, is Hiroyuki Sasa, a 30-year Olympus veteran. But an influential investment advisory firm and a group of Olympus\' foreign shareholders have called for a re-think of new board appointments, citing their connections with creditors or their lack of competence. Michael Woodford, the Briton who was sacked as the company\'s chief in October shortly before he exposed its massive loss cover-up, told reporters in Tokyo on Thursday that he also would vote against the nominations. Woodford questioned Kimoto\'s knowledge of the company\'s growing health-care business, and his \"loyalty\" to Sumitomo, one of Japan\'s biggest banks. \"Does he understand about all the medical procedures? Does he understand about the products? Does he understand about the consumers?... No, he doesn\'t,\" Woodford told the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan on Thursday. \"We know Japanese corporate loyalty, that\'s part of the problem, the blind loyalty,\" he added. Woodford described Sasa as \"OK\" but added that \"he had never run a large operational company. He has never run Olympus America or Olympus Europe.\" Olympus has rejected criticism over its board picks, saying six out of 11 board members are \"completely independent\" of the firm and \"have no relations with banks.\" In the wake of the scandal, Olympus eventually admitted wrongdoing after commissioning a probe by a panel of outside lawyers and several implicated executives were forced out. Japanese police have since arrested or charged numerous people, including the company\'s former president and senior executives, over allegations they falsified Olympus\'s financial statements by moving losses off its balance sheet.

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