Business / Corporate

Mitsubishi Materials exec who oversaw cover-up gets new job

Kyodo

The former president of a Mitsubishi Materials Corp. subsidiary who ordered a cover-up of falsified product-quality data is now working in a new position as a corporate adviser, company officials said Tuesday.

Mutsumi Yasutake, the former president of wholly owned unit Diamet Corp., assumed the part-time post Sunday after it was approved by the parent company.

In his previous role he ordered subordinates to continue shipping products that did not meet specifications even after a long-running data falsification issue at the unit was brought to light within the firm.

He resigned as president in February when the scandal became public knowledge but remained on Diamet’s board until Saturday, when he stepped down to take responsibility for the cover-up and the continued shipping of inferior quality products.

Diamet officials said the company will seek advice from Yasutake on how to deal with clients and other matters as he “understands very well the background” of the data falsification scandal, which had been going on since the late 1970s.

Yasutake was replaced as Diamet president by Fumio Tsurumaki, former managing executive officer of Mitsubishi Materials.

Diamet posted an announcement about Yasutake’s new role on its website Monday but later deleted it. A Mitsubishi Materials official said the notice was “accidentally” made public despite its disclosure not being required.

A report issued last week by a team of lawyers hired by Mitsubishi Materials to investigate a series of questionable practices within the conglomerate cited deadline pressure as behind the doctoring of data on product quality at Diamet and fellow subsidiaries Mitsubishi Aluminum Co. and Tachibana Metal Co.

The deceptive practices at the three companies were revealed in February after three other subsidiaries admitted to similar infractions in November.