How can the CEO of a 1.2 trillion yen company (13 billion USD!) can get blackmailed and forced to quit at the whim of one or two old cronies on his board? To put this in perspective, despite being a truly global company with a strong international brand name, Fujitsu is the 40th largest company on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. While I knew that Japanese companies have never really taken the concept of corporate governance on-board, I had thought that at least the top one hundred listed companies in Japan would have had some understanding of fiduciary duty.
Over the weekend it has emerged that Nozoe Kuniaki (野副州旦), the financially savvy president of Fujitsu, who “resigned due to health reasons” (病気療養 byoki ryoyo) back in Sep ’09 was actually blackmailed into resigning by Akikusa Naoyuki (秋草直之), another former president of the company. note: Akikusa is famous for destroying 91% of shareholder value during his five year reign at the top of Fujitsu and blaming it on his employees who “don’t work hard enough”. Continue reading