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Olympus fires first non-Japanese CEO

updated 05:45 pm EDT, Fri October 14, 2011

Olympus fires Woodford over management style

Japanese camera company has fired its CEO, Michael Woodford, on Friday. The first non-Japanese Olympus CEO was let go over disputes over the strategy of the firm, which led to a 17 percent share price drop. Olympus' board unanimously dismissed Woodford as president and CEO, but has retained him as director until a suitable replacement is found through a vote at the next annual shareholders' meeting.

Olympus chairman Tsuyoshi Kikukawa will take over as president and CEO.

"We hoped that he could do things that would be difficult for a Japanese executive to do, but he was not able to understand that we needed to reflect the management style we have built up since the company was established 92 years ago, as well as Japanese culture," Kikukawa told a news conference.

Woodford himself admitted in the past his management style could be confrontational. In a recent interview, he said he understands why Japan is called unique, as "it's one of the most impenetrable cultures for outsiders."

Woodford, now 51, became the CEO of Olympus in April, after 30 years with the company.

by MacNN Staff



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