• Singapore


Yes, the Nov. 26 front-page article “Woodford: Board must be purged” reminds me of Tokyo in 1988-89, when many companies lost focus and undertook “zai-tech” investments that went sour.They try to sweep these bad investments under the tatami.

It is indeed a blow to many loyal stakeholders of Olympus Corp. I think the many calls for the re-instatement of Michael C. Woodford as CEO — to lead Olympus out of this mess — are emotional reactions. As long as the underlying ethos of the board of directors remains, even if some directors are replaced, it will not be in Woodford’s interest to serve again.

Olympus is an attractive takeover target for predators, and it certainly would suit Woodford if a completely new significant shareholder, probably a fund, provided a mandate for him for the next three or four years. Unless there are 10 new Japanese leaders who are unorthodox and understand the pitfalls of Wall Street egomania, it’s likely that Olympus will not remain Japanese for long. As an example of a good Japanese leader, there is former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.


The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

kenneth yeung

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