In 2011, Briton Michael C. Woodford, a 30-year veteran of Olympus Corporation, was the first Westerner to be named CEO of the Japan-based maker of cameras and medical equipment. At the end of September 2011, Woodford confronted Olympus’ Board of Directors on multiple occasions asking for answers to financial discrepancies and even delivered a commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers’ investigation report.
Woodford was abruptly fired Oct. 14, 2011, by the company’s executive board because of what the board cited as a “management culture clash.” The ousting was not only sudden and out of character for Olympus, but it sparked many questions about the board’s integrity. Just one month later, Olympus officials publicly admitted to the U.S. FBI and UK Serious Fraud Office to having paid fraudulent advisory fees in a decade-long cover up valuing $1.7 billion.
Learn more about Woodford and the Olympus scandal.
“When all we hear about is stories of corruption at the top levels of companies, Michael Woodford is a beacon of ethical hope from the C-Suites.”
--Paul Fiorelli J.D, M.B.A, Professor of Legal Studies, Co-Director Cintas Institute for Business Ethics, Xavier University