updated 09:05 am EDT, Tue May 29, 2012
Ex-CEO Woodford agrees settlement ahead of whistle-blowing trial
Olympus ex-CEO Olympus Michael Woodford has agreed to a settlement with his former employer. An employment tribunal due to run in London this week would have seen Woodford asking for 10 years pay as compensation for being fired from the camera maker, after he emerged as a whistle blower on $1.7 billion in fraudulent accounting practices over a 20-year period. According to Reuters, the undisclosed settlement is expected to be less than the $60 million originally believed to be requested.
The $1.7 billion corporate fraud scandal saw former Olympus chairman Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, former executive vice president Hisashi Mori and former auditor Hideo Yamada arrested and charged with violations of Japan's Financial Instruments and Exchange Law. The company sued the three men as well as fifteen other current and former executives for their roles. Olympus itself was fined nearly 200 million yen ($2.5 million) by Japan's Financial Services Agency, which was endorsed by the Securities Exchange and Surveillance Commission.
The settlement is subject to approval by the board of Olympus on June 8, with the option to re-open the case if it is not accepted. With uncapped claims, the compensation from the reopened case would potentially reach higher than $60 million.