Japan’s scandal-hit Olympus has promoted Akihiro Nambu, who headed the investor relations division at the endoscope and camera maker to its top financial role. The decision comes in light just a few months after the company’s largest shareholders called for him to resign from a post over the accounting fraud.
Nambu was also a director at a British medical equipment firm Gyrus, which was acquired by Olympus in 2008 for $2 billion, and for which the company paid a hefty $687 million advisory fee as a part of complex web of transactions aimed at concealing massive losses.
“Elevating someone who was intimately involved in the Gyrus transaction to a senior role in finance is so completely at odds with the third-party committee’s recommendations that I find it hard to believe,” Ethan Devine, portfolio manager at New York-based Indus Capital, which holds just under 5 percent of Olympus told Reuters.
“It is true that an employee that became the head of our finance division as of April 1 was a non-executive director of UK’s Gyrus after we purchased the firm,” said Osamu Kobayashi, a spokesman at Olympus. “We will refrain from commenting on whether he was involved in the scandal, as it may be related to investigations going on in Britain,” he said.