Former chief executive says Japanese company “could survive” scandal involving $3bn in covered-up losses since 1990s.
|Former chief executive Michael Woodford was sacked in October after questioning the finances of Olympus [Reuters]|
Japan’s scandal hit camera giant, Olympus has submitted revised earnings reports on Wednesday.
Olympus was asked to refile its earnings because of deceptions and accounting irregularities.
Olympus filed its report hours before the deadline imposed, which would have seen it automatically delisted from the Tokyo stock exchange.
In November Olympus admitted that it had been hiding losses of $1.5bn going back almost two decades, when the chief executive Michael Woodford blew the whistle, questioning expensive acquisitions and exorbitant fees for financial advice.
Woodford, a 51-year-old Briton, was fired in October after confronting top Olympus executives after raising doubts about massive fees paid in the purchase of British medical equipment maker Gyrus Group in 2008.
He returned to Japan this week to meet with investors and legislators and to try to lead a turnaround at Olympus.
“Rotten to the core”
No one yet has been charged in the scandal. But Olympus management has said several top company men were involved in the scheme and has promised to investigate 70 officials, including former and current executives and
auditors, to pursue possible criminal charges.
A third-party panel set up by Olympus, including a former Japanese Supreme Court judge, released the findings of an investigation earlier this month, which said top executives who were “rotten to the core” had orchestrated
the accounting cover-up spanning three decades.
The fees for financial advice and overvalued acquisitions were part of an elaborate deception utilising overseas banks and several funds to keep the massive losses off the company’s books, according to Olympus.
Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, who was behind Woodford’s appointment as chief executive and later his firing, has since resigned as chairman.