Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Ex-CEO of Olympus blows the Whistle on Fraud and a Culture of Dysfunction in Japan

Recently, top bosses and executives at Olympus, the Japanese manufacturer of medical equipment and cameras, pleaded guilty to fraud in one of Japan's largest corporate scandals. Today we talk to Michael Woodford, the former President and CEO of Olympus, about the scandal and its implications. It was big news in the spring of 2011 when he became president of the company, as he was the first westerner to climb the ranks of a major Japanese corporation; in October of 2011, he became CEO in addition to President. Yet just two weeks later, in mid-October of last year, he was unexpectedly fired by the board. According to the Financial Times, Olympus portrayed him as an outspoken Westerner who "diverted from the rest of the management team."

But Michael Woodford has a different story: he exposed to the press the mismanagement and accounting cover-ups he discovered at Olympus. Woodford became the first CEO of a global multinational company to blow the whistle on his own company. We talk to him about the 1.7 billion dollar fraud he exposed, as well as what he thinks about larger business practice and economic health in Japan.



And President Obama said he would love to have a business leader for his economic team this term, but it is hard to recruit. Why? He told reporters that recruiting is difficult because "the confirmation process has become so miserable so drawn out." How does senate confirmation get in the way of properly policing the financial sector? Lauren breaks it down in "Reality Check."

Plus, former Senator Alan Simpson has a message for millennials in his Can Kicks Back campaign video: stop tweeting otherwise "these old coots will clean out the treasury before you get there." Lauren and Demetri talk about what is behind the directive in today's "Loose Change." Source

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