Olympus could sue executives

OLYMPUS could sue current and former executives who were involved in the $1.7bn (£1.1bn) accounts scandal exposed last year for more than 90bn yen (£0.78bn) after an independent report into management responsibility at the Tokyo-based company advocated this measure.

This has led to speculation that Shuichi Takayama, president of Olympus Corp since October and one of the executives named in the report for covering up colossal losses, will now buckle to demands that he resign. The Japanese camera company will announce details of any proposed legal action tomorrow but has declined to comment on Takayama’s intentions.

Other Olympus executives implicated by the independent report include former president and chairman Tsuyoshi Kikuwaka, former vice president Hisashi Mori and former auditor Hideo Yamada.

A new chief executive could be found in Masataka Suzuki, Kazuhiro Watanabe or Shinichi Nishigaki – the three board members deemed not involved in the cover up by the report.

Michael Woodford, the former Olympus chief who blew the whistle on the fraudulent accounts, on Friday dropped his bid to return to Olympus and announced he would sue the company for unfair dismissal.

Shares, which sat comfortably around the Y2,500 mark until October, closed yesterday at Y1,053.

● Over £1bn of losses were concealed in the 92 year old company’s investment portfolio.

● Michael Woodford, the first non-Japanese chief executive of Olympus, was sacked in October after questionning suspect accounts.