Four Toshiba Corp (6502.T) directors called on Friday for a shake-up of its management and board, in a sign of revolt after an investigation found the conglomerate colluded with the Japanese government to “beat up” foreign shareholders.
The very public push-back by the independent directors, all non-Japanese, is the latest twist in a scandal that shows how the old guard of Japan Inc, while still powerful, can no longer exert full control over shareholders.
It comes a day after an explosive, shareholder-commissioned investigation revealed – in startling detail rare for such probes in corporate Japan – how management reached out to the powerful Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) to strong-arm activist investors. read more
The investigation “made clear” that some members of Toshiba’s management and board took actions that “were unacceptable and directly against the interests of our shareholders”, the four directors, Jerome Black, Paul Brough, Ayako Weissman and George Zage, said in a statement.
Both board and management changes were needed, they said, calling some parts of the report “deeply disturbing”.