Ex-Olympus chief seeks $60M compensation

Michael Woodford (top,C), former Olympus president and chief executive officer who was dismissed from his posts last October, speaks to reporters upon his arrival at an extraordinary shareholders meeting in Tokyo on April 20, 2012.

Story highlights

  • Michael Woodford, the whistleblowing ex-chief executive of Olympus, will seek up to $60M
  • The British executive is claiming unfair dismissal and discrimination after he was sacked
  • His allegations led to resignations and arrests of top Olympus officials
Michael Woodford, the whistleblowing ex-chief executive of Olympus, will seek up to $60m of compensation from his former company at an employment tribunal hearing scheduled to start on Monday in east London.
The hearing has been postponed until midday, however, which could allow time for the two parties to settle.
The British executive is claiming unfair dismissal and discrimination after he was sacked just two weeks after becoming chief executive in October.
Mr Woodford's removal from his job came after he raised concerns that eventually led to the exposure of a ¥130bn ($1.6bn) accounting scandal at the Japanese maker of optical equipment.
Mr Woodford is expected to sue for up to 10 years of lost earnings. At the time of his dismissal, he had almost four years to run on his contract.
Troubles abound for Japan's tech giants
Troubles abound for Japan's tech giants

    JUST WATCHED

    Troubles abound for Japan's tech giants

MUST WATCH

Troubles abound for Japan's tech giants 02:21
Former Olympus executives arrested
Former Olympus executives arrested

    JUST WATCHED

    Former Olympus executives arrested

MUST WATCH

Former Olympus executives arrested 01:37
2011: Olympus survives de-listing threat
2011: Olympus survives de-listing threat

    JUST WATCHED

    2011: Olympus survives de-listing threat

MUST WATCH

2011: Olympus survives de-listing threat 01:22
Former Olympus CEO meets with lawyers
Former Olympus CEO meets with lawyers

    JUST WATCHED

    Former Olympus CEO meets with lawyers

MUST WATCH

Former Olympus CEO meets with lawyers 02:26
The hearing is scheduled to last five days and will hinge in part on whether Mr Woodford's dismissal falls within the London tribunal's jurisdiction.
If unsuccessful, Mr Woodford could sue for defamation in the High Court of England and Wales, or launch proceedings against Olympus for breach of contract in Japan.
Mr Woodford initially campaigned to be reinstated as chief executive, before announcing plans to take legal action against Olympus in January.
The Japanese camera maker has struggled to draw a line under the scandal. Shares in Olympus fell by more than 80 per cent in the weeks following its disclosure and are still less than half their pre-scandal levels.