In conversation with Michael Woodford, the first CEO in history to become a whistleblower of his own company

Raleigh Addington, Chartwell’s new Managing Director for the Asia Pacific region, caught up with the famed whistleblower Michael Woodford MBE, former CEO of Olympus Industries, in the latest episode of our podcast series.

In a situation described as the Japanese Enron, Michael found himself in the middle of treachery and intrigue shortly after being appointed President of Olympus in April 2011, when he discovered a $1.7 billion accounting fraud. Olympus corporate executives were hiding huge investment losses through complex takeover deals and secret off-balance-sheet vehicles. Michael blew the whistle on the scandal and was fired on Oct. 14, 2011. When he left the building that day, he feared for his life.

Michael immediately left Japan and flew to England. After arrival in London he offered to speak to investigators. By 2012 the scandal he exposed had developed into one of the biggest and longest-lived loss-concealing financial scandals in the history of corporate Japan.

In this short interview, Michael discusses how life has changed since 2011, how Japanese culture inhibits the act of whistleblowing, and outlines the fundamental message he tells businesses worldwide.

For more information, or to book Michael Woodford as a keynote speaker for your conference or event, please contact Raleigh Addington at raleigh@chartwellspeakers.com or call +852 5512 9714.

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