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Olympus shares suffer as former CEO goes on the attack
  • Breaking news on Olympus internecine scandal from dpreview:

    Former Olympus CEO Michael Woodford has launched a scathing attack on the company, following his removal from his post. Olympus had said Woodford was removed from his post over a difference in strategic direction between him and the rest of the Board of Directors. In a frank interview with the Financial Times, Woodford calls this 'utter nonsense' and states his belief that his removal relates to an investigation he had commissioned, into unusual payments and his suggestion that the board's Chairman and Vice Chairman should stand down over the issue. In response to suggestions that Olympus may try to prosecute him for disclosing this information, Woodford says: 'Bring it on.'

    http://www.dpreview.com/news/1110/11101815olyceostory.asp
  • 33 Replies sorted by
  • It is not breaking news.
    It is quite old news. :-)

    Just some motherfucker had been thrown out of the office and now his US/UK bosses want revenge :-)
  • @hishimaru

    Yes it is this motherfucker.
  • He he...those evil US/UK bastards!!!
  • If truly democratic (tm) mass media tell you that this is fraud in Olympus, you can be about 99,99% sure that it is not :-)
    Most probably one of the bank groups offered to buy Olympus and acted through this guy.
    Board refused, this guys tried to blackmail them, and got kicked instead.
    Such interviews are possible only in one case - this guy is part of hostile takeover plot.
    Trying to reduce market value is also good, as ti is necessary for any of such operations.
  • In January 2002, Mr. Woodford was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Order_of_the_British_Empire

    :-)

    The scandal deepened after Mr. Woodford delivered documents relating to the fees, including a PricewaterhouseCoopers report that he commissioned, to the Serious Fraud Office in Britain. He requested this investigation because the payments were made in Britain.
  • Woodford, a graduate of Millbank Business School. Michael C. Woodford joined the sales department of KeyMed (Medical & Industrial Equipment) Ltd., a British subsidiary of Olympus , and in 1991 at the age of 30, became Managing Director, leading the company to grow rapidly. In 2004, he became a board member of Olympus Medical Systems Corp., and in 2005 was appointed Executive Managing Director of Olympus Medical Systems Europa GmbH, where he made drastic reforms to strengthen the organization, thereby increasing revenues. Also during this time, he was also responsible for Olympus' Surgical and Industrial businesses in America. He later became Executive Managing Director of Olympus Europa Holding GmbH, and consolidated all the businesses of Olympus in Europe.

    Interviews of this guy look strange, because he worked 20 years in sales of medical equipment.
    Area that is very "unclean" in all of the countries.

    As part of the payment AXAM received preferred shares in Gyrus with a face value of $177 million on Sept. 30, 2008, according to the PWC report. Less than two months later, on Nov. 28, Olympus agreed to pay $557 million to buy the preferred shares from the adviser, the report said. AXAM subsequently negotiated a further increase in the value of the shares and in March 2010, Olympus paid $620 million for the securities, according to the report. Gyrus stopped trading as of Jan. 30, 2008, according to Bloomberg data.

    Dates here are also very interesting.
    Big career advancements also started in 2008 for Mr. Woodford.
  • This seems fishy. Total outstanding shares 271M. Yesterday and today exchanged roughly 50% of the total outstanding shares. This could be a hostile takeover.
  • Mr.Woodford looks like Angilo "Tan Man" Mozilo.
  • >This could be a hostile takeover.

    I am talking about the same.
    Giving such interviews could have only one goal.
    Only total ass could belive that guy who sold medical equipment for 20 years started to be big fan of "clean business"
  • @Vitaliy_Kiselev
    Not disputing your suspicions, which do sound plausible, but what is it that's "unclean" about selling medical equipment?
  • >what is it that's "unclean" about selling medical equipment

    It is very dirty business. Your connections, unofficial payments to medics and clerks are frequently more important than anything else. Margins are big, normally allow up to 30% of back payments.
    Same thing with manufacturing equipment. This is how Siemens work in all countries.
  • Also... what a timing. November 3rd is approaching. NEX-7 and Canon whatever are coming. Olympus and Panasonic seemed having the best chance to steal the show in 2012... GFX1, AF200, GH3, Olympus pro m43 body, etc. But this will damage Olympus... possibly m43.
  • @LPowell
    Just on limited experience, but I too have observed this to be a particularly unsavory biz.
  • Some Olympus response

    http://www.olympus-global.com/en/corc/ir/tes/pdf/nr111019.pdf

    Looking to it I suppose what mr. Woodford had some clear damage intentions.
  • If you look at PDF it become clear why the sum is so high.
    Because they got options on markets lows and paid for shares rise on markets high.
    Other reason can be that money could be used for financing some divisions outside japan and save some tax money.
    This motherfucker clearly knew about this long before 2011.
  • Next round in the Olympus scam:
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-07/olympus-used-gyrus-fees-to-hide-losses.html

    "The Tokyo Stock Exchange said it’s considering moving the shares in the world’s biggest maker of endoscopes to a watchlist for possible delisting following today’s revelations"

    Some people are speculating about Olympus going bankrupt. Maybe we should start a fundraiser campaign to buy their camera department and make Vitaliy Kiselev head of the r+d department to develop the ultimate 4k 120 fps m43 cam :-)

    They already have very nice lenses, just a great video Pen is lacking.
  • said three executives helped conceal decades of losses by paying inflated fees to takeover advisers, the first admission of wrongdoing since accusations from its former chief executive officer engulfed the Japanese camera maker in scandal four weeks ago.

    Former Olympus Chairman Tsuyoshi Kikukawa was involved in hiding losses at the company, said president Shuichi Takayama in a press conference in Tokyo today. Executive Vice President Hisashi Mori, who was fired today, and auditor Hideo Yamada were also involved, Takayama said. The company may take legal action against all three, he said.

    Olympus shares plunged by the daily limit and pulled other Japanese equities lower on broader concerns about accounting practices in the country, as Olympus made an about-face after weeks of denying any wrongdoing in the 2008 acquisition of Gyrus Group Plc and payments for three other takeovers.


    Exactly as I thought.

    :-)

    Poor managers had been named responsible for losses :-)
    No one know. Only three of them. :-)
  • Olympus released a statement this morning saying an independent investigation found advisory fees, takeover payments and writedowns were used to hide soured investments from the 1990s

    Exactly as in ALL major corporations and firms.
  • Who's gonna buy Olympus? Samsung?
  • Hopefully Panasonic will be interested in Olympus' line of Micro/Four Thirds lenses...

    As it looks like KEH has cut prices on nearly all of their used Olympus Digital lenses:

    http://www.keh.com/search?store=camera&brand=Olympus-Digital&category=Zoom-Lenses&k=EmptyKey&s=1&bcode=DO&ccode=7&grade=Grade&sprice=0&eprice=0&r=SE&e
  • Oh, man, all these companies are dying. What have they done? Why can't there be companies that make great products and make money of it? These companies are wasting money and resources. They have so many divisions. They can't sustain them all. We need focussed companies that cater purely to one audience.
  • @LPowel I doubt if Panasonic can buy Olympus camera division as Panasonic isn't making good money nowadays.
  • @Stonebat
    Yeah I think this could well be the case...its tough times