28 Nov 2011

Sacked boss faces Olympic board again

10:05 am on 28 November 2011

The ousted chief executive of Olympus has faced his fellow board members for the first time since he exposed one of the biggest corporate scandals in Japanese history.

Michael Woodford, 51, a British national, was sacked on 14 October after he revealed hidden losses at the company.

He returned to headquarters of the camera company in Tokyo on Friday.

Afterwards, he told reporters the entire board was culpable in a 100 billion yen cover-up dating back to the 1990s.

Mr Woodford, who remains a director of the company, said he would like to rejoin Olympus and sort the mess out.

On Thursday, he met police and fraud investigators in Tokyo.

Three figures implicated in the cover-up, the chairman and two directors, quit the company the same day.

Mr Woodford was unanimously sacked by the Olympus board after he questioned about $US1.3 billion in advisory fees paid to obscure firms, as well as money spent on takeovers, which was subsequently largely written off.

Olympus initially denied wrongdoing, but eventually admitted it had been covering up huge investment losses dating back decades.

Mr Woodford fled Japan immediately following his sacking, citing concerns for his safety.

He was the first non-Japanese president and chief executive in the company's nine-decade history.

The BBC reports Olympus will be delisted by the Tokyo Stock Exchange

if it fails to report financial data by 14 December.