Olympus Whistleblower Woodford Gets $15M Settlement
Michael Woodford, the former Olympus CEO who blew the whistle on accounting fraud at the Japanese camera and medical equipment maker, has received a settlement from the company of approximately $15.4 million.
Woodford was the first non-Japanese chief executive at Olympus, but was fired by the board last October, months after he took the helm, when he uncovered evidence of about $1.5 billion in accounting fraud stretching back decades. He found that Olympus inflated the fees it paid to investment advisors and overpaid for overseas acquisitions to generate goodwill impairment losses. Three former executives at the company were arrested in February, including the former chairman, along with four others (see Former Olympus Execs Arrested in Accounting Scandal).
Woodford is scheduled to receive an award from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners at its annual conference next week (see Olympus Whistleblower to be Honored).
Along with the disclosure of the settlement with Woodford, Olympus announced Friday that it plans to eliminate 2,700 jobs, or 7 percent of its worldwide labor force, by March 31, 2014, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.