Scandal Plagued Tosh Sues Former Directors, Exit From PC Market Still On The Cards
Over the weekend Toshiba issued a statement claiming that they have commenced proceedings to sued five former executives, including three former chief executives, over mismanagement, in an attempt by the current leadership to distance itself from the mess that the Company has found itself in.
In the PC division sales and profit numbers were falsely accounted for over several years.
The notebook and copier maker reported a $645.66-million-dollar loss for the three months through September, from a 90.2 billion yen profit a year earlier.
The dismal results, which had been flagged this week, adds pressure on Toshiba to implement drastic restructuring steps that are long overdue as its profit-padding masked many unprofitable businesses.
There is still strong speculation that the Company will get out of the loss making PC market including in Australia.
At the weekend senior executives in Japan said nothing was off the table as the Company looks to cut costs. Toshiba has already exited several notebook markets around the world.
“We’re lagging behind in restructuring the unit in charge of personal computers, television and home appliances,” Toshiba’s chief financial officer, Masayoshi Hirata, told a news conference.
In a statement released at the news conference, Toshiba said it was seeking damages totalling 300 million yen ($2.44 million) from previous CEO Hisao Tanaka, his two predecessors and two former chief financial officers.
The lawsuit, filed with the Tokyo District Court on Saturday, was based on a report submitted by an independent panel investigating liability of 98 former and current executives for the overstatement of profits over seven years.
The panel of three lawyers concluded that the executives’ negligence over dubious accounting practices caused damage to the company, Toshiba said.
The three former executives resigned in July, but denied any direct involvement. They were not immediately available for comment.
Toshiba set up the independent panel in September after an individual shareholder demanded the company file a lawsuit for 1 billion yen in damages against 28 former and current executives.
It was Japan’s worst corporate scandal since medical equipment maker Olympus Corp. was found to have covered up $1.7 billion in losses in late 2011.
Olympus sued more than 20 former and incumbent executives for damages.
Toshiba announced a plan to sell its imaging sensor business to Sony Corp. in October, but a wide range of other loss-making operations remain untouched.