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Olympus Whistle-Blower, Ex-CEO Woodford Resigns as Director

Ex-Olympus Corp. Chief Executive Officer Michael Woodford
Michael Woodford, ex-Olympus Corp. chief executive officer. Photographer: Jin Lee/Bloomberg

Ex-Olympus Corp. Chief Executive Officer Michael Woodford, the whistle-blower who questioned fees paid by the camera maker, said he resigned as a director after earlier offering to return to the top post.

Woodford said at a press conference in New York that he decided to resign at 4 a.m. this morning.

“I only had four hours of sleep, but when I woke up I was very clear,” he told reporters.

Woodford was fired as president and CEO on Oct. 14 after he confronted the Olympus board about oversized payments made to advisers in the acquisition of Gyrus Group Plc in 2008.

Olympus revealed this month that it used the purchase of Gyrus and three other takeovers to hide decades-old investment losses.

He had remained a director of the Tokyo-based company after being fired and has met with prosecutors and regulators in Japan, the U.K. and the U.S. He said those investigations weren’t related to his decision to resign from the board.

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