Former Olympus CEO Michael Woodford has launched a scathing attack on the company, following his removal from his post. Olympus had said Woodford was removed from his post over a difference in strategic direction between him and the rest of the Board of Directors. In a frank interview with the Financial Times, Woodford calls this 'utter nonsense' and states his belief that his removal relates to an investigation he had commissioned, into unusual payments and his suggestion that the board's Chairman and Vice Chairman should stand down over the issue. In response to suggestions that Olympus may try to prosecute him for disclosing this information, Woodford says: 'Bring it on.'

Olympus' explanation for the dismissal is given below, while the New York Times has published the letter Woodford says led to his removal as CEO. Meanwhile, the Financial Times has released an astonishingly blunt video interview with the former CEO, during which he says he has submitted his report to the UK Serious Fraud Office for investigation.

Shares in the company have fallen more than 30% since Friday, which is unlikely to spell good news for the loss-making camera division that makes up 16% of the company's sales.

Former CEO Michael Woodford and Chairman Tsuyoshi Kikukawa pose for the company's 2011 Annual Report

Press Release:

Olympus Corporation Resolved Dismissal of President Michael C. Woodford

Olympus Corporation (the "Company") would like to provide notification that the Board of Directors resolved at its Board of directors' meeting held today to dismiss the Company president as of today, as outlined below.

1. Reason for the Change

Michael C. Woodford has largely diverted from the rest of the management team in regard to the management direction and method, and it is now causing problems for decision making by the management team.

Hence, judging that realisation of the 2010 Corporate Strategic Plan with its slogan of "Advancing to the Next Stage of Globalisation" would be difficult to achieve by the management team led by Woodford, all the board directors attending today, except for Woodford himself who could not participate in the voting due to special interest, unanimously resolved the dismissal from his office of the representative director, President and Chief Executive Officer (dismissal from the office of the representative director, President and Chief Executive Officer and stays as director without executing right.) Along with this, it was also resolved that the representative director, Chairman Tsuyoshi Kikukawa double as the representative director, President and Chief Executive Officer.

Global management that Olympus aims is to implement management rules, information management and operation that are common throughout the world in order to establish a business infrastructure that is more efficient and quick to respond while making the most of a Japanese style management that sets a high value on people, technology and pride of monozukuri or manufacturing. To this end, all our employees will head for the same direction as we will urgently start establishing a new structure to go towards the same goal with the entire staff as one.

2. Contents of the Change

PositionNamePrevious Position
Representative Director, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Tsuyoshi Kikukawa Representative Director and Chairman
Director Michael C. Woodford Representative Director, President and Chief Executive Officer