Olympus on Monday named a serving executive as its new president after one of the biggest financial scandals in Japanese corporate history.
The nomination of Hiroyuki Sasa, alongside two other Olympus insiders, comes as the company seeks a clean slate in the wake of revelations of a $1.7 billion loss cover-up by present and former directors.
The medical equipment and camera maker will ask shareholders to approve the full 11-member board, including eight people from outside the company at an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on April 20.
"The mission that I will be given is to rebuild the damaged brand and regain public trust (in the company) as quickly as possible," Sasa told a press conference.
"I will need to reform the management structure radically, so that a problem like this will never occur again."
The present management board, including president Shuichi Takayama and five others who are being sued by the company over the covering up of investment losses, will step down after the EGM.
"Once the new board members announced today are approved by the shareholders meeting, I believe they will be able to rebuild the company," Takayama told reporters.
He added all current management board members and auditors will resign at the end of the EGM and had already submitted letters of resignation in preparation for the event.
Earlier this month, Tokyo prosecutors arrested Olympus former president Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, who was named as a key player in a scheme to shift $1.7 billion of losses dating back to the 1990s from the camera-maker's balance sheet.
The scandal, which has seen Olympus haemorrhage value on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, erupted in a blaze of international publicity when British chief executive and president Michael Woodford was sacked in October.
The 92-year-old firm eventually admitted a small group of top executives used overpriced deals to cover up bad investments dating back to the 1990s.
Following his sacking, Woodford launched aggressive media offensives against his former bosses, questioning the firm's past acquisition deals and the outsized consultant fees it had paid.
But the Briton, the firm's first non-Japanese president, did not win the backing of Japanese institutional investors and gave up a push to get his job back.
On Monday the company nominated former Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. senior managing director Yasuyuki Kimoto as its next chairman of the board and former executive officer of the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Hideaki Fujizuka as a director.
Three current executive officers, including Sasa, were nominated to lead the company, while six other outside directors were also appointed to the task of rebuilding the under-fire camera and medical equipment maker.
Sasa, 56, has headed marketing operations in the company's medical business, after being engaged in the development of endoscopic instruments for many years.
For one of the two posts for standing corporate auditors, the company named a current financial screening chief of Nippon Life Insurance, one of Olympus's top institutional shareholders.
Shares in the firm, which at one point in the scandal plunged to 424 yen from 2,482 yen the day before Woodford's ouster, closed down 3.3 percent at 1,373 yen ahead of the announcements.
Source: AFP Asian Edition