Toshiba chief executive Hisao Tanaka to resign after accounting scandal

 
Emma Haslett
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Tanaka "was aware" of the profits overstatement, but took no action, the panel found (Source: Getty)

The chief executive of Toshiba has said he will resign after the Japanese electronics giant "did a Tesco", overstating its profits by $1.2bn (£780m) over a seven-year period.

Hisao Tanaka and Norio Sasaki, a former chief executive of the company who is now vice chairman, said they will step down.

A panel tasked by the company to look into the accounting overstatement said it took place over three generations of chief executives. Before Sasaki, who handed the reins to Tanaka in 2013, the company was led by Atsutoshi Nishada, who stepped down in 2009 but remains an adviser.

Chairman Masashi Muromachi will step into the chief executive role during the search for a new leader.

Unlike Tesco, whose then-chief executive Philip Clarke looked distinctly surprised when the supermarket's £630m profits overstatement was revealed last year, the panel said both Tanaka and Sasaki were aware of what was going on and did not take any action to change it.

Shares closed six per cent up yesterday as the panel sought to reassure investors that the effect on profits will be minimal.

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