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Exposure: From President to Whistleblower at Olympus Paperback – 4 Jul 2013
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The business book of the year has to be Michael Woodford's Exposure (Evening Standard)
The most celebrated international whistleblower of recent times... his story is filled with mystery, suspense, duplicity and betrayal (Management Today)
A sensational account of a man of great courage and principle who got to the top, and blew the whistle to glorious effect. In the corporate world Woodford is too rare and exceptional a breed. (Jon Snow Channel 4 News)
A must-read for businesspeople, politicians and would-be movers and shakers (Bloomberg)
The kind of integrity and courage that Woodford displayed is unusual. (The Economist)
Michael Woodford took a considerable risk in exposing wrongdoing. He was a study of boldness in action (Lionel Barber Financial Times)
Woodford tells his tale like a thriller. A fine book by a fine man who did the right thing. (The Times)
In a world increasingly dominated by global multinationals, he just felt someone had to speak out (Sunday Times)
Michael Woodford has proven himself a hero, though he never wanted the battle. He risked everything (Clive Stafford Smith, Founder and Director, Reprieve)
A gripping chronicle by a corporate whistle-blower who achieved a stunning victory (Kirkus)
From the Inside Flap
When Michael Woodford was made President and CEO of Olympus, he became the first Westerner ever to climb the ranks of one of Japan's corporate icons.
Some wondered at the appointment - how could a gaijin (foreigner) who didn't even speak Japanese understand how to run a Japanese company? But within months Woodford had gained the confidence of colleagues and shareholders.
Then his dream job turned into a nightmare.
He learned about a series of bizarre mergers and acquisitions deals totalling $1.7 billion - a scandal which if exposed threatened to bring down the entire company. He turned to his fellow executives - including the chairman who had promoted him - for answers. But instead of being heralded as a hero for trying to save Olympus, Woodford was met with hostility and a cover-up.
Within weeks he was fired in a boardroom coup that shocked the international business world. As rumours emerged of Yakuza (mafia) involvement in the scandal, Woodford fled Japan in fear of his life. He went straight to the press - becoming the first CEO of a multinational to blow the whistle on his own company.
Following his departure Woodford faced months of agonizing pressure that threatened his health and his family life. But instead of succumbing he persisted, and eventually the men who had ousted him were held to account.
Exposure is the story of how Michael Woodford chose the truth over a multimillion-dollar salary, and exposed the dark heart of the company he had dedicated his life to. He also paints a devastating portrait of corporate Japan - an insular, hierarchy-driven culture that prefers maintaining the status quo to exposing ugly truths.
The result is a deeply personal memoir that reads like a thriller. As Woodford himself puts it, 'I thought I was going to run a health-care and consumer electronics company but found I had walked into a John Grisham novel.'
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Woodford's account gives a very interesting insight into corporate Japan and their apparent failings at the most senior level, mainly attributable to management structures based upon age, status etc rather than ability.
The scale of the corruption, even as a seasoned investigator is quite staggering. If i were still an Olympus shareholder I'd be very concerned, what Woodford was informed of and blew the whistle on may just be the tip of the iceberg.
I'd highly recommend the book, wrote from the heart, no doubt (and referred to at the end) edited by lawyers but a very worthy read. The man loved his company and his job but had to fall on his sword at immense personal and probably financial cost to himself to right a wrong.
Order it now!
Sadly I have come to the conclusion that this is going on in nearly ALL the large corporations across the world.
Enjoy the read.
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