Investors at scandal-ridden Toshiba today voted out its chairman, Osamu Nagayama, after the company was found to have colluded with the government to suppress the interests of foreign investors.
The move marks a milestone for corporate governance in Japan after Toshiba shareholders successfully secured a probe into the allegations of pressure on overseas investors.
One of Toshiba’s largest shareholders, 3D Investment Partners, which had previously called for Nagayama’s resignation, welcomed the result.
“We hope that today’s AGM (annual general meeting) marks the beginning of a new era at Toshiba – one that will be marked by a focus on value creation, transparency to all stakeholders and a renewed commitment to building trust with shareholders,” it said in a statement.
Are all investors happy?
Osamu Nagayama’s ousting has concerned some investors, who say it will set the firm further back by depriving it of leadership at a time of crisis.
Nagayama only joined Toshiba’s board halfway through last year after the pressuring of foreign shareholders allegedly took place.
He previously led Japanese pharmaceutical company Chugai and has also been on the board of Sony, with the latter expressing its support for him during the saga.
Toshiba is one of Japan oldest and largest firms, with divisions that range from nuclear power stations to home electronics.
A breakdown of the vote was not immediately disclosed and the newly-elected board will meet later today to discuss a potential new chairman.