Olympus was rocked with scandal when it was revealed that the company was involved with what the Wall Street Journal dubbed “one of the biggest and longest-running loss-hiding arrangements in Japanese corporate history.”
Everything unraveled when ex-CEO Michael Woodford uncovered the S1.7 billion cover up that began in the 1990s. Olympus chief Tsuyoshi Kikukawa eventually resigned, but not before the firm’s share prices plunged 49%. Since the scandal broke out, Olympus has since unveiled the OM-D E-M5, which will be shipping out in April 2012.
But things are far from being business as usual. The company has managed to stay on the Tokyo Stock Exchange after being hit with a $129,800 fine, but it’s time for Olympus’ former top men to face the authorities.
In line with this, former Olympus President and CEO Tsuyoshi Kikukawa and his former vice-president Hisashi Mori have been arrested for “suspected violation of Japan’s Financial Instruments and Exchange Act.” Four others who helped keep the cover up going were also arrested.
Yoshiaki Yamada, a spokesman for Olympus, said: “We take the situation seriously. We will cooperate fully with investigators.”
Back in January, Olympus has already filed cases against 19 current and former executives, including current President Shuichi Takayama and five corporate auditors, for their roles in helping conceal the company’s losses.