Ethical Ethics Of Olympus

1606 Words7 Pages
Company background
Olympus hid the imaging scandal for nearly twenty years, dating back to the 1980s. Olympus is a Japanese company that produces cameras and medical imaging equipment listed on the Tokyo stock exchange. Being the third largest publicly listed Japanese company, Olympus was established in 1919 and in 2011 the company had around 40,000 employees and over 70% of the world’s medical endoscope market. Although a strong medical business, it has been performing rather poorly in the camera business around 1980.
During 2011, suspicions surfaced that Olympus had been engaging in improper accounting practices for over 20 years. It had allegedly circumvented relevant laws and continued to conceal its losses by transferring the financial instruments relating to its unrealised losses to several funds that were not part of the Olympus group. The scandal attracted global public attention, especially after the CEO and president of Olympus at that time, Michael Woodford, was expelled by the board of directors.
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On 1 November, Olympus announced the composition of its third-party panel, headed by lawyer and former Supreme Court justice, Tatsuo Kainaka. The panel would include four lawyers and one certified public accountant. In the week of 6 November, Olympus announced that Hisashi Mori had been dismissed and auditor Hideo Yamada had resigned. At a press conference, Takayama revealed he had known absolutely nothing about the scheme until Mori informed him earlier in the week. On November 8, the Japanese media reported that Olympus had finally admitted that the company’s accounting practices were inappropriate, albeit downplaying the illicit practices as a mere postponement. The leadership shifted the blame to the previous president, Kikukawa, one auditor, Yamada, and the executive vice-president,

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