Ex-CEO Woodford resigns from Olympus board

The former president and CEO Michael Woodford relinquishes position on Olympus' board and says current management "inappropriate" to appoint new board members, report states.
Written by Kevin Kwang, Contributor

Michael Woodford, the former president and CEO of Japanese camera and endoscope maker Olympus, has resigned from the company's board. He also urged for shareholders, and not the current management, to decide on new board members as the latter is deemed "inappropriate", a report stated.

Bloomberg reported on Thursday that the 51-year-old Woodford had resigned from the board but did not reveal why he did so. He did call on stock owners to be given the responsibility of picking his and other vacant board seats, instead of the current management, which he considered as "tainted" and unsuitable for the task.

"It's completely inappropriate for the current management team, who are tainted by its past mistakes, to make choices about the identity of new board members, he said in an e-mail to Bloomberg. "I intend to liaise with all interested stakeholders with a view to formulating a proposal for the constitution of a new board."

Since he was fired from Olympus for questioning the US$1.4 billion in takeover costs for the acquisition of Gyrus Group in 2008, Woodford has met with Japanese officials and the U.S. agencies of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission, to discuss the accounting irregularities.

The Japanese company has come out to admit that former Chairman Tsuyoshi Kikukawa and senior aides have colluded to accounting cover-ups. Three board directors--Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, Hisashi Mori and Hideo Yamada--had tendered their resignation last week as a result of this incident, according to a ZDNet Asia report.

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