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Japan: Olympus whistleblower Michael Woodford wins millions in settlement as company announces job cuts


Former Olympus chief executive Michael Woodford speaks to reporters upon his arrival at an extraordinary shareholders meeting in Tokyo on April 20, 2012.



Former Olympus chief executive Michael Woodford, who was sacked after blowing the whistle on a $1.7 billion accounting fraud at the Japanese company, will receive 10 million pounds ($15.4 million) in a settlement over his dismissal, the Guardian reported.

The news came as the Tokyo-based camera and medical equipment maker announced it would cut about 2,700 jobs, or seven percent of its global workforce, by 2014 and turn a profit this year.

According to the Associated Press, Olympus and Woodford reached an agreement last week. Woodford had demanded 10 years salary for wrongful dismissal.

As part of a restructuring plan aimed at getting the company back on its feet following the crippling crisis, Olympus said it would close about 40 percent of its 30 manufacturing plants around the world, Agence France-Presse reported.

The company forecast a profit of seven billion yen ($87.92 million) for the fiscal year through March 2013, compared with a loss of 49 billion yen for the previous year, which was largely due to costs associated with the accounting scandal.

A number of former Olympus executives have been charged over their role in one of Japan’s biggest-ever corporate frauds. The company admitted it covered up massive investment losses incurred in the late 1980s for as long as 20 years.

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Olympus shares fell more than 80 percent in the wake of the scandal, the Guardian reported.