Book launch details:
29 November 2012
6:00 – 7:30pm, followed by a drinks reception to 8:30pm
13/ 14 Conwall Terrace (Outer Circle), London, NW1 4QP, Nr Baker Street Tube
Organised by The Daiwa Anglo Japanese Foundation
After becoming President of Olympus in April 2011, Michael Woodford became aware of some large unexplained payments the company had made in relation to overseas acquisitions. When satisfactory explanations were not forthcoming, he kicked up a fuss, only to be dismissed by the company’s board in October. He had stumbled on one of Japan’s largest and longest-running ever “tobashi”, or loss-hiding, schemes. The resulting scandal led to the arrest of seven Olympus executives, including the former Chairman, and a drop of 75% in the company’s stock market value, as well as a revival of broader concerns about Japanese corporate governance and audit standards. Introducing his new book, Woodford will give us the inside story.
“Michael Woodford had everything the corporate world could ever offer. Yet when he discovered rampant corruption at the core of one of Japan’s most prestigious companies, he did not hesitate. This is a sensational personal account of a man of great courage and principle who got to the top, and blew the whistle to glorious effect. In the corporate world Michael Woodford is too rare and exceptional a breed.” -Jon Snow, Channel 4 News.
* The book will be available for purchase on the day.
Michael Woodford grew up in Liverpool and joined Olympus as a medical equipment salesman, rising through the ranks to run its UK, MEA and European businesses. In April 2011, he was appointed President and COO of the Olympus Corporation – the first Western ‘salary-man’ to rise through the ranks to the top of a Japanese giant. That October he was made CEO, but only two weeks later, he was dismissed after querying inexplicable payments approaching $2 billion. He was named Business Person of the Year 2011 by the Sunday Times, the Independent and theSun, and won the Financial Times Arcelor-Mittal Award for Boldest Businessperson of the Year. He lives in London with his wife and two teenage children.