Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Disgraced Toshiba Bosses Bow out in PS780m Scandal; BRANDY CHASER COGNAC CONSOLES REMY COINTREAU AFTER GREEK GLOOM

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Disgraced Toshiba Bosses Bow out in PS780m Scandal; BRANDY CHASER COGNAC CONSOLES REMY COINTREAU AFTER GREEK GLOOM

Article excerpt

Byline: Nick Goodway

THE president and two other top executives of Japanese technology powerhouse Toshiba resigned today in the wake of an accounting scandal in which they are alleged to have inflated profits by up to 152 billion yen (PS780 million) over six years.

The scandal comes four years after similar revelations at camera maker Olympus, and raises fresh questions over the state of corporate governance in Japan even as prime minister Shinzo Abe brings in tighter laws.

Toshiba president and chief executive Hisao Tanaka and his predecessors, vice-chairman Norio Sasaki and adviser Atsutoshi Nishida, all resigned today, two months after the company first revealed that it was investigating accounting irregularities. The losses revealed in an independent report this week were three times the amount Toshiba had initially estimated.

Tanaka bowed deeply and apologised yet again at a press conference in Tokyo today. The company has issued multiple apologies to its shareholders and customers.

"It has been revealed that there has been inappropriate accounting going on for a long time, and we deeply apologise for causing this serious trouble for shareholders and other stakeholders," the maker of power plants, computer chips and domestic appliances said.

Tanaka will be replaced by chairman Masashi Muromachi.

The case is the biggest corporate scandal to rock Japan since British boss Michael Woodford blew the whistle on 118 billion yen of concealed losses at camera-maker Olympus in 2011. That smashed Olympus's share price by 80% and saw thousands of jobs lost as it slashed the size of its business. Although Woodford had been dismissed he won some praise in the country for revealing outdated Japanese corporate practices.

Japanese finance minister Taro Aso said that the accounting irregularities at Toshiba were "very regrettable", coming at a time when Japan is trying to regain global investors' confidence with better corporate governance. …

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