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Olympus Makes Mistake by Firing CEO

Chief Executive’s JP Donlon sees a huge mistake in Olympus’ firing of CEO Michael Woodford, predicting the Japanese camera company will gain notoriety for its managerial obtuseness.

My take on this saga is that Olympus has shot itself in the foot with the dismissal of the only person who could restore credibility to the organization. It’s a reputational seppuku–ritual suicide by disembowlment–to mix the metaphor. The loss of so much market cap seems not to have alerted management and the board as well as the institutional investors of the seriousness of the situation. Just as Enron became a synonym for shareholder abuse, corruption and managerial excess, from this point forward Olympus will become a synonym for shareholder contempt and managerial obtuseness. It may even eclipse Enron as a term of derision. Well done Olympus. We didn’t think you had it in you!

Read: Woodford Sues Olympus Over Dismissal, Giving Up Proxy Battle for Control

About J.P. Donlon

J.P. Donlon
J.P. Donlon is Editor Emeritus of Chief Executive magazine.