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A spat is rocking one of Japan’s most popular Internet companies after the founder moved to kick out the board, enraging staff and sending shares tumbling.

Akimitsu Sano, who owns 44 percent of Cookpad Inc., shocked investors in January by calling on them to dump all other directors of the recipe-sharing site, saying the company was neglecting its main business. The stock fell 23 percent in one day and has whipsawed with each new skirmish in a battle to control a firm with more than 85 million monthly website users.

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