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Michael Woodford: the ​Olympus CEO who blew the whistle on $1.7 billion fraud speaks about corporate governance, strong culture and leading by example

We strongly recommend you read Michael Woodford‘s critically acclaimed book, “Exposure” (2012). We also enjoyed “$1.7 Billion Fraud: Full Exposure” which premièred on Monday – the 75 minute documentary on the Olympus scandal from the acclaimed Japanese director Hyoe Yamamoto. Our Asia Pacific MD Raleigh Addington recently caught up with Michael in an exclusive interview, which you can listen to here. All are superb introductions to Michael’s extraordinary story.

Backdrop Slide - Kentish Town tube station

“I’ve had the honour of hosting six Nobel Prize winners, three US presidents, two heads of state and an archbishop as well as many leading commentators from the fields of economics, finance, politics and civic society; Michael Woodford stands out as one of the most captivating and interesting speakers myself and our members have been lucky enough to hear from in our history.” CEO, Private Equity Firm

By far the best way of realising what it took for Michael to challenge the culture of fraud and cover up in the Olympus boardroom is to book him as a speaker. Michael talks about how to create and maintain a positive corporate culture, hardwire good governance into your organisation, socially responsible business and how all of us can move towards a more moral type of capitalism.

For more information on how to book Michael Woodford as a keynote speaker for your conference or client event, please get in touch with Leo von Bülow-Quirk at or call on +44 (0) 20 7792 8000.

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 or call +852 5512 9714.

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If you can’t find the right speaker you need, or would like speaker ideas tailored to your event,

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