• Kyodo, Staff Report

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Toshiba Corp. is looking at the possibility of retaining temporary President Masashi Muromachi when it appoints its new management team next month as it regroups following an accounting scandal, according to company sources.

Muromachi, who is also Toshiba chairman, tentatively took over the presidency from Hisao Tanaka last week after Tanaka, as well as his two predecessors, resigned as directors following the release of a damning investigation that found the company had overstated earnings by ¥152 billion from fiscal 2008 to 2014 in a “systematic manner.”

Tanaka said last week he took responsibility for what happened. “The grave responsibility for this issue lies in the top management, including myself,” he said.

In the absence of any other board member with sufficient experience after eight senior executives resigned last week, the firm’s executive nomination committee is considering Muromachi as a promising candidate to head the new team, sources said.

Toshiba’s third-party investigation committee concluded that Muromachi was never directly involved in any attempt to overstate profits.

Muromachi, from Toshiba’s mainstay semiconductor division, became executive vice president in 2008 and took up the chairmanship in 2014 before being named to double as tentative president.

Toshiba plans to announce the new management team in mid-August before the team is officially put in place following an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders in late September.

Meanwhile, Akira Kiyota, chief executive officer of Japan Exchange Group Inc., said at a news conference Tuesday the Tokyo Stock Exchange may exclude Toshiba from the JPX-Nikkei 400 stock index following the scandal.

The exchange and Nikkei Inc. give priority to corporate governance in selecting components for the stock index, he said.

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