Livedoor Co. President Kozo Hiramatsu expressed hope Friday that his predecessor, Takafumi Horie, who has been in detention since his Jan. 23 arrest over alleged accounting fraud, will reduce his equity stake in the firm.

But Hiramatsu added that is “totally out of our control.”

Hiramatsu, who took up the post after the arrest, also said, “I don’t think he wants to use his authority as a major shareholder to influence our business.”

Horie is the top shareholder with a 17.25 percent stake in the once high-flying Livedoor, followed by Usen Corp. President Yasuhide Uno, who recently became the No. 2 shareholder by buying Fuji Television Network Inc.’s 12.74 percent stake.

Speaking in English at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan in Tokyo, Hiramatsu, 60, said taking up the current post suddenly to rebuild Livedoor was “the toughest assignment I’ve ever taken.”

“When I face cameras, I automatically bow,” the U.S.-educated Hiramatsu joked. “One thing I can say with confidence is that now I have mastered the art of bowing,” referring to the many news conferences he had to organize over the last two months to make apologies following the arrests of Horie and other Livedoor executives.

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