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Dear Olympus, please explain your actions

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by squeegee, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. squeegee

    squeegee Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 26, 2010
    Ex-Olympus chief questioned payments - FT.com

    There appears to be a scandal brewing in the management of Olympus.

    Personally, I don't get to vote on Oylmpus' board of directors nor managers. I do however get to vote with my wallet and I hope other consumers start learning to do the same. There's a lot of protests recently about managers and companies' practices etc. As a consumer, if we don't like it, we get to vote against them with our wallets. (And if you don't vote with your wallet, then you don't get to complain as you're fueling the problem.)

    I've been an olympus fan for a long time now but, the authenticity and the response to this matter will absolutely 100% determine whether I buy anymore olympus equipment and the camera which I will be shooting with in a couple of years time.

    I do my best not to support corrupt companies and corrupt practices. Lets be honest, there's plenty more manufacturers out there and the equipment is not so special that consumers don't have a choice. You can split hairs about which camera or lens is better, but at the end of the day it's splitting hairs.

    The way I see this issue is no different than buying equipment from child or slave labour v.s. regular honest paid labour.

    Olympus, make your response a good one.
  2. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    What exactly did Olympus do that was illegal? I read the article and there is no mention of anything illegal.
  3. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 4, 2010
    I saw the story linked over here too

    43 Rumors | Blog | Ex Olympus CEO Mr. Woodford speeks to FT: "They told me to catch a bus to the airport"

    Woodford checked the past acquisition strategy from Olympus and discovered that “large amounts of money seemed to have “disappeared” into the hands of poorly vetted outside financial advisers and investment vehicles.” and “a catalogue of calamitous errors and exceptionally poor judgment which … has resulted in the destruction of shareholder value of $1.3bn“.
    And how did Olympus react? They told them to “to catch a bus to the airport“.

    It'll be interesting to see how it plays out.
  4. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    Yaaaawn. On the scale of company malfeasance, a management dispute is barely even interesting.
  5. ssgreenley

    ssgreenley Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 12, 2011
    This sounds like the sour grapes of a guy who got fired after only six months. Whatever is wring with Olympus as a company, you can't blame anyone but your own managerial or political ineptitude if you get booted that quickly at that level.
  6. chrism_scotland

    chrism_scotland Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 1, 2011
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    It doesn't really sound like anything illegal happened, possible incompetence by using poor financial advisor's but that's not illegal just stupid!
  7. Narnian

    Narnian Nobody in particular ...

    Aug 6, 2010
    Richmond, VA
    Richard Elliott
    The emphasis seemed to be on "cultural" differences. They are saying he did not understand how to run a Japanese company. One could make the case neither did the original Japanese management in this situation prior to him coming onboard.

    I suspect they brought him in the shake things up. And he did and they decided they did not like it.
  8. squeegee

    squeegee Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 26, 2010
    The problem here is that the executives have not proven that they had no financial gain due to the massive apparent lapse in judgement. We're talking over 1 billion dollars here. If they had any financial interest or any relationship to the companies whom benefited from those lapses in judgement, then in some countries, that's illegal and corrupt behaviour. In some countries this is called stealing from the shareholders. Kind of like when Dick Chenney gave billions of dollars of untendered,overpriced, government contracts to his own company haliburton... Just because a court couldn't find a way to convict him, doesn't mean it's right. We're the public, not a court, saying you've disclosed all that you legally are required to do is not enough, i want a human explanation, not a legal court defence. If you have nothing to hide, then show it.
  9. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    Sorry, I still believe in innocent until proven guilty. Dying concept in the US, I know.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    Sounds like you have been palling around with terrorists.

  11. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 4, 2011
    Dublin, IE
    They appointed him CEO just 2 weeks ago and the same man who is now accusing him of ruining the company's decision making process (Tsyoshi Kikukawa) said he was 'extremely pleased' with his performance as president. I wonder if it's customary for executives in Japan to change their mind in such short time? :rolleyes: 

    Overall it sounds incredibly fishy and very, very familiar. I lived for 20+ years in Russia, which is one of the most corrupted countries in the world. Top-managers of huge Russian companies often use offshore companies with undisclosed beneficiaries to steal money from shareholders. Now let's think about it: first KPMG, Olympus's own auditor, said there were some 'irregularities' with those deals... and Olympus quickly got rid of them. Then this English guy started to ask difficult questions and they quickly got rid of him too. Raises some questions, doesn't it?

    In the end I feel sorry for Olympus. If you remember, in early and mid-2000s Nikon was hopelessly behind Canon and quickly losing market share. Then their parent company, Mitsubishi, forced many old farts on the Nikon board of directors into retirement and brought in some fresh blood. This resulted in Nikon producing great new products and stealing a huge portion of market share from Canon. It seems that in the case of Olympus the old bad blood is the winner.
    • Like Like x 2
  12. awatahurm

    awatahurm Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 10, 2011
    According to the article, Woodford himself said there was no evidence of financial gain. His issue was the "loss of shareholder value".
    It's common knowledge that Japanese corporations tend to place capitalization above shareholder value. So it's not inconceivable that this really is a case of cultural differences.

    If I was to question Olympus's ethics it would be at the manufacturing end. Chinese workers have a lot fewer rights and benefits than Japanese workers.
  13. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    This is really disappointing news coming from Olympus. I have always rooted for them to do well...

    ...but paying a financial adviser 1/3 of the price paid for an acquisition is REALLY dubious! I've been working in the financial industry for over 16 years, and have never come across any financial adviser charging such a high fee!
  14. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    This thread is starting to sound far too reasonable. Where is the rage?
  15. Canonista

    Canonista Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 3, 2011
    To compare what MAY have happened here to child or slave labour is outlandish and greatly diminishes the seriousness of the latter offenses.

    While it may be possible that an insider may have profited from what appear to be questionable payouts, it's equally possible that the managers were simply inept and got hoodwinked by a savvy outsider (nothing new for most companies). In that case, those managers are not going to want someone to start questioning those earlier decisions.

    If you're truly serious about boycotting Olympus over this guy's firing, good luck finding an alternative company to patronize, because most corporations will have had similar incidents at one time or another.

    The greater concern for us Olympus users is whether the company, through their incompetent management, can return to profitability and survive into the future. It's a good thing that we have Panasonic to fall back on for m43 cameras and lenses.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    X2, but my guess is it has more to do with questioning the "honor" of older, respected Japanese.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 4, 2010
    From my perspective I worry less about the corporate shenanigans (arent they all at it?) and more about another respected camera brand being run into the ground by inept management.

    I want Olympus to servive and prosper - this sort of news doesn't inspire confidence (hopefully its not a reflection on the industry as a whole but it wouldn't surprise me if it was).
  18. digitalandfilm

    digitalandfilm Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 18, 2011
    [chant] "The whole world is watching.. "[/chant]

    Pepper Spray smilie: smiley_emoticons_mttao_trockene_glu.
  19. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    He (squeegee) forgot to add Solyndra to his rant list... :rolleyes: 
  20. squeegee

    squeegee Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 26, 2010
    lol sorry I can't keep up with all the political scams, there's just too many to follow.

    But back to the semi serious note, obviously right now they don't have "proof" of anything illegal as it would be in court if there were concrete evidence. My point is, as some one else mentioned, this is the classic corporate scam structure, off shore companies that appear and disappear on a whimb, with little to no information on who or where those companies are where they came from or where the money went to.

    It would be like watching a person wearing a ski mask in a bank with a gun in the other hand. It's not illegal to wear a ski mask, nor is it to hold a hand gun (in some jurisdictions) He hasn't don't anything illegal. But no one in their right mind would walk into a bank with a ski-mask over their face and a gun in hand, and if you approach and ask why on earth they are doing something so silly, and their response is "I don't have to tell you"... well.... *shrugs*

    I'm not saying everyone should boycott olympus (as some one else attempted to suggest I had said), I'm just saying people should give thought to whom and where they buy products from because ultimately you're supporting their actions. If a company chooses to "protect the honour" of some criminal employees (or ex-employees) then that's something I'll take into consideration when handing over my money. If a company thinks that what they do with their money once they get it from me is none-of-my-business, that's their right to do so, and it's my right to not hand it over next time.
    • Like Like x 1
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