TOKYO (TR) – The new president of troubled camera and endoscope maker Olympus said the company’s management is prepared to step down once a clear path to recovery is apparent, according to Japan’s Nikkei news service.
Three of Olympus’s top executives formally resigned as board members Thursday, the Nikkei said. The three were former Chairman Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, former Executive Vice President Hisashi Mori and corporate auditor Hideo Yamada.
All three are considered key players in the 92-year-old company’s attempt to hide billions in investment losses through questionable deals, including the $687 million fee Olympus paid to a little-known adviser in its $2 billion acquisition of U.K. medical equipment company Gyrus Group Plc. in 2008, Nikkei reported.
The resignations come as former Chief Executive Michael Woodford — who said he was fired by Olympus after he raised questions about the deals — is in Japan meeting with prosecutors, police, and regulators from the Tokyo Stock Exchange who are investigating the matter. Woodford is also expected to call for the remainder of Olympus’s board members to resign when he meets with them Friday for the first time since he was fired on Oct. 14, Nikkei said.
The British national says the board needs to make way for new leadership. “I just hope that (the board of directors) understand that the game is up. Have some shame, have some dignity,” Woodford said, according to the Nikkei after a meeting with the Tokyo Metropolitan Police.