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Grumpy Hec
17th October 2011, 09:07 AM
I have just spotted this article on the BBC news site

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15330870

Doesn't fill you with a sense of well being does it!

Hec

Zuiko
17th October 2011, 09:47 AM
Olympus never do things by halves, or the easy way! Still, it's up to them how they manage the business, it's up to us to buy and use their cameras. :)

maccabeej
17th October 2011, 02:05 PM
There were only three foreign CEOs of Japanese companies, which is why you don't hear more about this. I am fairly sure that Olympus are no better or no worse than most Japanese companies. The likes of Toyota, Nissan etc have to meet higher standards as the sell securities in foreign markets. Many Japanese companies have global markets and parochial management. Accounting has also been peculiarly Japanese as has corporate structure and governance. It is changing but slowly.
Jim

Ian
17th October 2011, 03:07 PM
Woodford was sacked last Friday. He was looking for the resignation of the company chairman (who had appointed Woodford in the first place!) and an executive vice president over allegations that Olympus wasted large sums of money in company acquisitions that were either not core to the Olympus businesses or were not good value acquisitions. Woodford also called into question the expense of fees paid to financial advisors. He asked for a meeting with the two senior board members to discuss the situation, but they pre-empted him by calling an emergency board meeting and they apparently voted to sack Woodford without even a debate. The vote was unanimous.

Ian

StephenL
17th October 2011, 03:19 PM
Oh the joys of big business!

wanderer
17th October 2011, 04:11 PM
There appear to be 2 clear and distinct sides to this stramash.
I suspect a bit of truth on both.
But in the current (economic) climate I don't trust either.
I wonder if they are now vulnerable to takeover.

If it all goes pearshaped, can I have first dibs on the hire 35-100 please?:D

The camera certainly works.

Chevvyf1
17th October 2011, 05:12 PM
Woodford was sacked last Friday. He was looking for the resignation of the company chairman (who had appointed Woodford in the first place!) and an executive vice president over allegations that Olympus wasted large sums of money in company acquisitions that were either not core to the Olympus businesses or were not good value acquisitions. Woodford also called into question the expense of fees paid to financial advisors. He asked for a meeting with the two senior board members to discuss the situation, but they pre-empted him by calling an emergency board meeting and they apparently voted to sack Woodford without even a debate. The vote was unanimous.

Ian

For an International BRAND - this is corporate suicide ! It smacks of "NO TEAMWORK" and underhand accounting :( - not the way to develop an International Brand :(

As they say "no smoke without fire" and this sounds similar to Guinness and USA acquisitions that ended with Ernest Saunders resignation and later book :)

I am glad I shall not be looking to buy any more camera equipment in my lifetime :) *chr I certainly would NOT DEPEND ON OLYMPUS ! :eek: Corporate Governance is critical to survive AND THRIVE !:D

Ian
17th October 2011, 05:12 PM
It's very sad and frustrating as the issues central to all the drama are nothing to do with the camera division. Woodford comes from the medical imaging side of the business, and the biggest questionable acquisition was medical-related, while the others were nothing to do with either cameras or medical imaging.

I don't know the man, but Woodford has admitted in interviews that his management style can be confrontational, and while that should have been well known by the Japanese management that hired him in the first place, I wonder if he under-estimated their willingness to accept such a management style.

Also, these apparent misdemeanours are in the past, and Woodford's main task was to set a path towards more efficient operation in the future. Trying to remove the chairman who appointed him also seems over-ambitious.

But what do I know!?! :)

Ian

Zuiko
17th October 2011, 07:26 PM
The aquisition, whatever it was, may well have been questionable, but hardly as questionable I would think as the Lloyds TSB takeover of the Halifax. That nearly was corporate suicide! :eek:

Greytop
17th October 2011, 10:48 PM
Oh dear, this is something Olympus could have well done without.
At the best of times this wouldn't be something you would want in the public domain but right now this is pretty much corporate suicide.

Chevvyf1
18th October 2011, 07:57 AM
Huw, it is a well known fact that many CEO's and other high flyers are Psychopaths - two interesting books to read are "Born Liars" and "The Pyschopath Test".

The similarities between CEO Pyschopaths and Savage Rapists/Murderers are many and the differences, few! As evidenced in "The Jigsaw Man" and "Picking up the Pieces" by Paul Britton (retired Psyciatrist of Broadmoor)

Its all about "what one is prepared to do, to achieve their own goals" ! :D the more power & position - the more demands and less asking !

Did you see the "Rugby" where the Welsh Captain deliberately lifted and jumped a French chap on his head/neck ? The Welsh Captain could have broken the french guys neck and killed him and been on a murder charge instead of being sent off !

... and Rooney is definately a Looney - the way he behaved - and now is out of 3 major England games !

In both Rooney and the Welsh Captain (forget his name ...) the speed at which their brains, processed the vicious attack is quite frightening !

LightingMan
18th October 2011, 08:10 AM
two interesting books to read are "Born Liars" and "The Pyschopath Test"

I have got to read these books!

Chevvyf1
18th October 2011, 08:28 AM
I have got to read these books!

Born Liars was Radio 4 book of the week in August or Sept ! thats where I learned of it ! From a Child Development point of view, its interesting to note "how we are born & bred to lie" :D ... the Psych Test book takes it all a few stages further :eek: but again, the developmental structure, in some cases, "continuium", fascinates me !:D and I got "into all this" because I wanted to know "what childhood elements impact HOW - esp. on building a negative personality" in my Child Dev Degree course *chr

Rawcoll
18th October 2011, 08:37 AM
Well, it certainly is in the public domain now, as it was featured on the 'Today' programme this morning. Whether it will feature in most people's conscientiousness is another question though. After all, Guinness and Olympus don't really have the same interest ranking amongst the populace. :)

LightingMan
18th October 2011, 09:14 AM
Thanks I'll start with Born Liars.

Have you read They F**k You Up by Oliver James? It's not revolutionary or particularity revealing but the "scripts" we use is something I think of often when people watching.

Chevvyf1
18th October 2011, 10:54 AM
Well, it certainly is in the public domain now, as it was featured on the 'Today' programme this morning. Whether it will feature in most people's conscientiousness is another question though. After all, Guinness and Olympus don't really have the same interest ranking amongst the populace. :)

Hi Ian, welcome I have not "seen" you here *chr Your quite right - Olympus is not a brand known as well as *an*ikon - However, the BIG IMPACT will be on the Multi National Imaging business - which did make BIG Profits :) and to have so much of "share value" wiped out is a real bad thing :( its a shame they could "not rub along" and keep their dirty linen in the basket, so to speak :)

Now its on "Prime Time TV" vis Today - it shall be featuring highly in all Fund Management News and the Money Market rags - shares will be a bargain - that is if they come up soon or in the longer time frame - However they may continue to fall ... there is lots more info to come "out in the wash" and it shall :)

OlyPaul
18th October 2011, 01:54 PM
Looking at this http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/business/20111018/letter-text.pdf

It certainly seems like Woodford found evience of corruption and payoff within the company over the purchase of 3 over-valued companies. Over a third of the $800 Million purchase price, or $288 Million went to 2 unlisted companies in New York and the Caymans for consultation on the purchase. Woodford uncovered who the payment went to and asked for their resignations. Before he could get a meeting in Japan, he was sacked.

Ian
18th October 2011, 02:14 PM
If Woodford's allegations are true, then I can't see how the either the financial authorities here in the UK and Japan can fail to investigate this. This story is certainly going to roll...

Ian

PS Woodford has formally invited the Serious Fraud Office in the UK to investigate. Meanwhile, Olympus Japan says it is considering the possibility of legal action against Woodford for publicising confidential company information.

Chevvyf1
18th October 2011, 02:35 PM
As I said the similarities with the Guinness/Ernest Saunders affair will all come out in the wash :) The Shareholders may vote Woodford back on the Board and the offenders OFF ! *chr

Ian
18th October 2011, 03:00 PM
I just hope that whatever comes of all this that it doesn't damage the camera division :(

Ian

Zuiko
18th October 2011, 04:07 PM
I just hope that whatever comes of all this that it doesn't damage the camera division :(

Ian

It probably already has. If it is true that such a large amount of money has been misappropriated, that is money which could have been used for greater R&D, product development and marketing. I doubt the camera division will just close, however, if the company breaks up - more likely it will be aquired by Panasonic or Samsung, possibly even by Fuji who seem to be eager to expand within the camera market once again. Or how about an outside player like Casio? Intriquing stuff.

Should I just have committed myself to buying an E-P3, I wonder. :eek:

Ian
18th October 2011, 04:44 PM
It probably already has. If it is true that such a large amount of money has been misappropriated, that is money which could have been used for greater R&D, product development and marketing. I doubt the camera division will just close, however, if the company breaks up - more likely it will be aquired by Panasonic or Samsung, possibly even by Fuji who seem to be eager to expand within the camera market once again. Or how about an outside player like Casio? Intriquing stuff.

Should I just have committed myself to buying an E-P3, I wonder. :eek:

Casio is in even greater difficulties I understand - it looks like they have closed down their UK camera operation from what I have heard.

Ian

Zuiko
18th October 2011, 04:46 PM
Casio is in even greater difficulties I understand - it looks like they have closed down their UK camera operation from what I have heard.

Ian

Should be a good match then! :D Olympus wouldn't be Olympus if they didn't fight with one hand tied behind their back! :rolleyes:

Graham_of_Rainham
19th October 2011, 10:40 AM
http://www.olympus-global.com/en/corc/ir/tes/pdf/nr111019.pdf

Chevvyf1
19th October 2011, 11:30 AM
Well Graham, perhaps NOW "THE REPORT" Woodford commissioned will become PUBLIC ! If either Party takes this to Court it will have to be produced in "evidence" !

Interesting how Oly have not reproduced the fraudulant dealings alleged :(

Ian
19th October 2011, 11:54 AM
My understanding is that the report is already public. Woodford is happy for anyone who is interested to read it, including the SFO.

Ian

Ian
19th October 2011, 11:56 AM
I have just posted this as an update to my report from yesterday on DPNow.com (http://dpnow.com/8326.html):

In an update to this story, Olympus Japan has issued a statement that attempts to clarify things from their point of view.

Olympus says that Michael Woodford's sacking from the his positions as Olympus Corp. President and CEO was not in response to his request for the Chairman and Vice President to resign, but because of other ongoing differences concerning his management style.

After originally saying that the value of fees paid with regard to acquisition advice alleged by Woodford was incorrect, Olympus now agrees with the near $680M figure and has attempted to explain what the payments were for.

Olympus also dismisses the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) audit report that Woodford highlights as the basis for his allegation because the report was commissioned by Woodford himself and not by the company.

Olympus also repeats its point that it is considering legal action against Woodford for publicising confidential company information.

It remains to be seen whether or not the Olympus statement will help to halt the slide in Olympus' share price or Woodford's progress in seeking to expose alleged malpractices within Olympus over the last few years. Observers note that just two weeks ago that Michael Woodford's work as company President over the last six months had earned glowing praise and justified his additional promotion to CEO at the beginning of this month. The hastily convened board meeting that saw Woodford stripped of his responsibilities as President and CEO happened almost immediately after Woodford challenged the Chairman and Vice President to resign. Explanations to clarify the value to Olympus of the mysterious payments are not particularly convincing, at least so far.

Meanwhile, Woodford suggests that the entire Olympus board should now go and that he would be more than willing to return to lead a new board that will revitalise the company.

Ian

Chevvyf1
19th October 2011, 12:18 PM
Ian,

I suspect that major groups of shareholders/Fund Managers will push for an extraordinary meeting to dismiss the current Board and accept Woodfields offer in you last sentence ! :D

Clearly Olympus are trying hard to cover up events that "stink" and are now public domain ! Shareholders have a defined right to INFORMATION about the company - so it would be difficult to pursue a "confidential information" disclosed by Woodfield, case, by the sounds of it ! :D

Graham_of_Rainham
7th December 2011, 11:50 PM
http://www3.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/20111207_24.html :eek: