Four non-Japanese Toshiba Corp. directors call for shake-up after explosive probe



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Four non-Japanese Toshiba Corp. directors call for shake-up after explosive probe

On Friday, four non-Japanese independent directors of Toshiba Corp., the Tokyo-based multinational conglomerate focused on a swathe of sectors ranging from utility to industrial to consumer electronics goods, called for a sweeping overhaul of the company’s management and board after an investigation had unveiled a potential tie-up between Toshiba Corp and the Japanese Government aimed at ‘beating up’ foreign shareholders, sending shockwaves into the Japanese securities.

In point of fact, latest leg of explosive findings on Toshiba Corp’s securities exchange malpractice to squeeze more money out of foreign shareholders, would likely to add to further restrain on influx of foreign capitals into the Japanese money markets following a much-debated Ghosn scandal in late-2018 which had significantly loosened the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi alliance, suggested analysts.

Aside from that, the slanderous scandal on Toshiba’s market manipulation came forth a day after a shareholder-commissioned probe had detailed how the conglomerate’s management board had reached out to the country’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), stoking possibilities of a shareholders’ revolt.

Directors call for Toshiba management reform after startling findings

On top of that, the investigation into Toshiba’s market malpractice had revealed an awful incident involving the company’s largest shareholder, a Singaporean hedge-fund Effissimo Capital Management, as one of the Toshiba Corp directors were quoted saying in an email “We will ask METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) to beat them up for a while”.

Besides, four non-Japanese directors, Jerome Black, Paul Brough, Ayako Weissman and George Zage, said in a statement on Friday, “Toshiba's management and board took actions that were unacceptable and directly against the interests of our shareholders”.

Fanning up the flames further, the report which had been released on Thursday, had added that the Japanese Prime Minister, Yoshihide Suga, had personally encouraged a senior Toshiba board member to exert pressure on foreign investors during a meet with Toshiba executives last year saying “If we are aggressive, we can get them with foreign ownership rules”, however, Suga had denied the allegation.

Nevertheless, Toshiba Corp holds a substantial scale of leverage over Tokyo given its active role as a manufacturer of nuclear reactors and defence equipment.