Fired Olympus chief armed with dossier and wishlist (update Thursday 11.45am)
November 23, 2011
Michael Woodford, the sacked Olympus CEO, will attend a meeting of former boardroom colleagues armed with a dossier of documents and a list of demands that include a ?forensic accounting review?.
Earlier today Woodford was besieged by photographers and reporters on his return to Japan where, on Friday, he will confront fellow Olympus directors.
While in Tokyo Woodford is also due to hold separate meetings with Tokyo Police, Tokyo Prosecutor’s Office and Japan’s Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission.
Update Thursday 11.45am:
Speaking after talks with Japanese authorities Woodford told reporters he is more confident than before that officials will conduct a thorough probe.
‘It’s clear they’re going to investigate, they’re not going to leave any part of this story untold and they’re going to turn all the stones over,’ he is quoted as saying in a report by news agency Reuters.
‘The talks have passed all my expectations… and it’s very evident to me they are going to investigate this whole issue without bias and thoroughly, and that will include following the money flows in relation to all the transactions.’
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Woodford was fired after questioning high fees paid to financial advisers in relation to acquisitions.
The scandal is said to involve funds exceeding $1 billion amid reports it may have links to Japanese crime gangs, which Olympus denies.
In an interview with Amateur Photographer before he left the UK, Woodford – who remains a director of the company – was asked under what terms he would return to the firm if requested by shareholders.
He replied: ?Firstly, all the board have to go. Secondly, you need a forensic accounting review, and third, you need an impairment test.?
The latter, he explained, is a term used to describe a test of a company?s goodwill – an intangible asset.
In recent weeks Woodford has blasted the company for acquiring ?Mickey Mouse? companies that have little to do with its core activities, citing a face cream firm and an outfit making ?microwave dishes?.
?If it [goodwill] is not realistic you have to take a charge ? a write-down. Then you can start moving forward,? he said.
Perching on a table in front of Woodford during the hour-long interview was a large black ringer-binder – measuring several inches thick – filled with documents relating to the crisis that has enveloped the firm in recent weeks.
Woodford is due to fly to the United States for meetings with authorities including the FBI on 29 November.
Olympus?s Tokyo office had yet to respond to a request for comment about the agenda for this week?s boardroom meeting.
To read the full interview see HERE