Fired Olympus President Gives Up Efforts to Return

Posted January 5th, 2012 at 9:25 pm (UTC-5)
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The former head of Japan's Olympus camera company who was fired for exposing a massive accounting scandal says he is giving up his efforts to get his job back.

Michael Woodford, who is British, said Friday he could not get the support of major Japanese shareholders. He also said his struggles to return to the company were hurting his family.

Woodford was looking to get back his job as chief executive officer and bring in an entirely new board of directors. The current board fired Woodford after he exposed a scheme by Olympus management to cover up about $1.5 billion in losses from bad investments.

Japanese police raided Olympus headquarters. Japanese media reported that police also searched the homes of former company executives.

The company barely avoided being de-listed by the Tokyo Stock Exchange last month by filing a new earnings report.

Woodford Friday criticized Japan's traditional cross-shareholding system, in which large companies own pieces of each other to ensure business stability. He said the system keeps poorly performing boards of directors from being replaced.