Olympus Shares Slump after Ouster of its President Woodford

October 14 00:00 2011

New York, October 14 (RainbowNewsLine.com) – The shares of Olympus Corp (OCPNY.PK) the Japanese manufacturer of cameras and medical equipment, plunged to the lowest level in 37 years after its board voted to replace its president Michael C Woodford, a 51-year-old British national with Chairman Tsuyoshi Kikukawa.

The Tokyo-based company said that Woodford was replaced following disagreements regarding his management methods. It added that it would have been “difficult” to fulfill the company’s business plan under his management. He was a veteran of the company’s medical equipment business and was appointed April 1 as the company’s first non-Japanese president after it sought to expand business overseas.

Yukihiro Goto, a Tokyo-based analyst at Macquarie Group Ltd., said by phone today that “There was a high expectation among overseas investors when Woodford was appointed that he would reform the company,” and added that “He had announced clear financial targets such as cost reduction, and it’s uncertain whether those targets will still be pursued.”

The news of his removal plunged Olympus stock as much as 17 percent, the most since 1974, to 2,052 yen before trading at 2,164 yen as of the 11 a.m. break of trading in Tokyo. More than 19 million shares were traded, which was 10 times more than the six-month daily average of 1.9 million.