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Exposure: Inside the Olympus Scandal: How I Went from CEO to Whistleblower (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 25. Februar 2014

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Taschenbuch, 25. Februar 2014
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“A gripping chronicle by a corporate whistle-blower who achieved a stunning victory.”
Kirkus Reviews

Exposure treats readers to a fascinating inside look at bare-knuckled corporate governance…[it] should be compulsory reading for company directors and MBA students.”
The Economist
“Woodford has written a brilliantly gripping book, with a great hero at its heart. His story is all the more frightening for being true.”
—Rosamund Urwin, The Evening Standard (UK)

“Michael Woodford took a considerable risk in exposing wrongdoing. He was a study of boldness in action.”

—Lionel Barber, editor, Financial Times

“Woodford’s reaction to the corporate malfeasance and corruption he discov­ered once he reached the top is even more noteworthy, though perhaps not surprising. Throughout his life he had demonstrated a willingness to speak out against what he perceived as treachery, even when it could result in financial harm or personal danger.”

Bloomberg BusinessWeek

“Michael Woodford could have spent years turning a blind eye to the shady dealings of corporate executives at Olympus. Instead . . . he dove headfirst into allegations of corporate misconduct.”

Time, in naming him a 2011 Person Who Mattered

“Michael Woodford is a man who did not stand by and do nothing. He stood his ground and he spoke the truth. It’s people like him who keep our soci­ety from falling into total darkness. Japan could use more people like him.”

—Jake Adelstein, author of Tokyo Vice, from the Afterword

“He’s the most celebrated international whistleblower of recent times. His story is filled with mystery, suspense, and betrayal.”

Management Today

 “Michael Woodford lost his job for his integrity.”

The Economist

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Michael Woodford was named Business Person of the Year by four major newspapers and won the Financial Times/ArcelorMittal Boldness in Business Person of the Year award. He lives in London.

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Mr. Woodford is not a journalist, not a professional writer and his skills as CEO - well tough to say as he was not long enough on his job - .. so I am very surprised that his book turned out so readable and so honest. Even so honest he partly admits his rise in the Olympus corporation lots of times involved luck and his final promotions to president and CEO probably happened due to strategic reasonings of a flawed business culture in Japan. He even seems naive sometimes. But make no mistake, this naivety is not for real, it is more a desire for simpleness, straightforwardness and putting the right value on things. When it comes to leadership Michael is second to none. Kind of sad we were not to experience what results his tenure as a CEO supported by appropriate advisers would have yielded.
It is quite clear that his decision to go public with the facts nearly bankrupted Olympus. And it is quite hard to blame former management to the extent they deserve as going public prior probably would have bankrupted the company for sure. Finding a solution behind the scenes could have been a better immediate solution. But as hard as it is to admit, that would have been exactly the wrong solution. If you need to plug a $2bn hole a couple dozen millions seem not to matter. And if you are at it, why not pay out huge amounts to yourself behind the scenes? Once the genie is out of the bottle there simply is no turning back. If Olympus had plugged the hole finally some new shenanigans would have followed with absolute certainty.
It might have been the ideal point in time to cure Olympus from its cancer. I am sure over time Michael will be appreciated more for his role in this saga. And yes, he did quite well financially in the end. Considering that he admits his luck, that he faced dire financial consequences inbetween and that others with dubious roles got away with a lot more money we should not envy him for his final windfall. But make up your own mind by reading his book.
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I definitely recommend "Exposure ". Even though or perhaps because the book is a real story, it reads like an exciting business thriller. The perfect holiday reading. And in fact the book is about real white-collar crime at the highest level, carried out in the boardrooms of Olympus in Japan.

In the book, the former CEO of famous Olympus tells how he discovered and revealed one of the biggest accounting scandals in the world. Doing this he took his family and himself it in danger.

The author:

Written by Michael Woodford the book describes what he did to reveal the accounting scandal as head of Olympus. It's also about the resistance of all his board colleagues and the Japanese institutional investors.

Michael Woodford is British and lives (also during times being CEO of Olympus on the weekends) with his family in London. After climbing the career ladder at Olympus more than 30 years, in 2011 he was appointed president and later CEO of the Japanese industrial group. Olympus employs nearly 40,000 employees all over the globe and is one of the market leaders in various optics and reprography product areas. Woodford is the first foreign CEO of Olympus. At that time there are only three other foreign CEOs in Japanese companies.

The scandal:

Shortly after his nomination to CEO, Michael Woodford discovers that previous and current managers had transferred hundreds of millions US$ to advisory and other companies, some of them on Cayman Islands. Later it shows that accounts were falsified to hide losses of more than $1,7 billion! The intention was to hide losses from derivative securities transactions.
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Keine fünf Sterne, weil immer mal wieder für mich eine Selbstbeweihräucherung herauskommt.
Wie der Kommentar eines Zeitungsmenschen, der ihn zum Businessman of the Year gewählt hat, zu seiner Frau:
he is really authentic, isn't he?
Das hat keinen Mehrwert für die Geschichte.
Und ich habe beim Lesen auch den Eindruck gewonnen, er ist immer noch vergrämt wegen der Geschichte.

Ansonsten sehr interessant wie das abgelaufen ist und wie er es beschreibt. Auch wenn das nur die eine Seite der Geschichte sein kann.
Da ich nicht muttersprachlich englisch spreche und auch nicht alle Bankenprodukte kenne, fiel es mir schwer, den Verlauf des Geldes, wie die Verluste verschleiert wurde, zu verfolgen.
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Michael Woodford, having served in higher management in various firms in the Olympus concern für some 30 years, was called to serve as CEO of the whole Olympus company, based in Japan. It was quite a sensation for a foreigner to head a major Japanese company, almost unique in fact. But Woodford had made the European subsidiary the most profitable in the Olympus company and he was highly qualified to run the whole company. He soon found out, however, that the Japaniese way of thinking and running a large company is very different from the western world. Due to his practice of probing and asking questions, he soon stumbled on evident inconsistencies in the financial situation about which the Japanese senior managers remained strictly tight-lipped. Within a few months he unearthed criminal procedures in the company designed to conceal the true financial state, but was unable to discuss his findings with the Olympus board of directors. His insistance in seeking explanations resulted in his being fired as CEO without notice.

His connections with industry and particularly with the media helped him to get world-wide coverage of the Olympus scandal, but it was an extremely trying and harrowing time for him. .Also financially he was hard-pressed because his campaign involved much travelling throughout the word, giving ínnumerable interviews, in order to maintain the pressure on Olympus. Finally the responsible managers admitted criminal actions and were sentenced in court. Woodford was vindicated, but not before the whole world had witnessed the rotten core of Japanese industry. Woodford's campaign held me spellbound for many hours until I had finished reading.

I found this book so fascinating that I read it through within a very short time.
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