TOKYO Oct 17 Olympus may take legal action
against ousted Chief Executive Michael Woodford accusing him of
disclosing confidential information in media reports following
his firing on Friday, a senior executive told investors on
Hisashi Mori, executive vice president at Olympus, spoke to
investors and analysts in a conference call on Monday, according
to an investor who joined the discussion.
Woodford, 51, was sacked on Friday just two weeks after the
company had promoted the Briton from president.
Mori reiterated that Woodford was let go because of
management differences, stating that Olympus board members had
harboured doubts about the CEO before his promotion, the
investor said on condition that he not be identified.
Mori also confirmed that Woodford on Thursday had sought his
resignation and that of Chairman Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, who replaces
Woodford as CEO, over payments made in 2008 to financial
advisers in the purchase of British medical equipment maker
In media reports published on Monday, Woodford was cited as
saying those fees amounted to $687 million, or 36.1 percent of
the transaction price.
Mori told investors on the conference call that the amount,
although expensive, was less than half that figure. He declined,
however, to give the exactly amount.
On Monday, Olympus's stock plummeted 24 percent, extending
an 18 percent fall on Friday, wiping out $3.2 billion in market
value from the Japanese precision instrument and camera maker.
Mori apologised for the loss to shareholders resulting from
that stock tumble. He also said that no plan was yet in place to
pick a new CEO, the investor told Reuters.
(Reporting by Tim Kelly and Maki Shiraki; Editing by Edmund