Olympus’ former CEO Michael Woodford has said that the company needs to be investigated by forensic accountants and called for the board of directors to be replaced in order to save the company.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Woodford said that he believed that there were likely to be further revelations of improper financial conduct, following the confession from Olympus’ current president Shuichi Takayama that the company had used false payments to paper companies to cover losses made in the 1990s.
Crucially though, Takayama claimed that he had been unaware of the practices until recently and blaming the practice primarily on former president and chairman, Tsuyoshi Kikukawa.
Woodford, however, was sceptical of the statement, saying: “A ten year-old child would work out that they’ve paid nearly $700 million to an unknown entity through the Cayman Islands. All of that he knew and to say he just found out last night is unbelievable.”
Since it fired Woodford, Olympus shares have lost more than three quarters of their value, and is thought to be affecting the wider Japanese market. Despite this, Woodford has stated that he would return to the company as president and CEO, saying that he felt an obligation to the companies 40,000 employees.