Former Olympus Corp. Chief Executive Michael Woodford will receive 10 million pounds (1.2 billion yen, $15.4 million) in a settlement over his dismissal from the Japanese camera and medical equipment maker. Olympus disclosed the amount of the settlement last month, following approval from its board. Woodford, a Briton, was fired in October after he blew the whistle on what has been described as dubious accounting practices at Olympus.
The Tokyo-based company has now acknowledged it hid 117.7 billion yen ($1.5 billion) in investment losses dating back to the 1990s. After being fired, Woodford filed suit in a British court, accusing Olympus of unlawful firing and discrimination in not treating him the same way as a Japanese executive. The executives at the company met without hearing from him and fired him, according to Woodford.
The image of Olympus has been badly tarnished over its handling of Woodford’s whistleblowing. The company faces another high-profile whistleblowing case, unrelated to the accounting scandal, from a Japanese employee, Masaharu Hamada. Three former Olympus executives, including the company’s ex-chairman, were arrested earlier this year on suspicion of orchestrating the accounting cover-up. The company has carried out its own investigation of its problems and is suing some executives for damages.
Woodford, a rare foreigner to lead a major Japanese company and the first at Olympus, says he would like to return to work in Japan. Obviously, his plans don’t include Olympus. Reportedly, Woodford has become sort of a hero in Japan. Outspoken people are rare in that country and Japanese whistleblowers like Hamada have often been treated as outcasts.
Source: Huffington Post
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