Toshiba Mulls More Outside Directors After Accounting Apology

Toshiba Corp. is considering adding more board members from outside the company as President Hisao Tanaka apologized to investors for an accounting scandal at the maker of nuclear power plants and notebook computers.

Adding new directors could improve governance, Tanaka told the company’s annual shareholder meeting in Tokyo on Thursday. Toshiba is examining accounting at units spanning power generation, air-traffic control, PCs and chip businesses.

Toshiba withdrew its earnings forecasts in May and canceled the year-end dividend citing irregularities related to “percentage of completion” accounting estimates. After the announcement, the stock plunged the most since March 2011, then rebounded after Toshiba said a profit writedown over the previous five years will be 55 billion yen ($444 million).

“I’d like to extend a heartfelt apology to all of our shareholders for the trouble,” Tanaka said. “We are doing our utmost to regain your trust.”

The company has named two lawyers and two certified public accountants to an expanded third-party committee to examine the company’s accounts. Koichi Ueda, a former investigator with Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office, will head the committee, Toshiba said in May.

Toshiba had previously projected operating income of 330 billion yen on sales of 6.7 trillion yen in the year ended March. The estimate of a 55 billion-yen reduction in profit applies to the five fiscal years ending in March 2014. The company gave no estimate for the year ended this March.