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From President to Whistleblower at Olympus

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


President, whistleblower, crusader. Exposure is the story of how Michael Woodford exposed the dark heart of Olympus.

When Michael Woodford was made President and CEO of Olympus, he became the first Westerner ever to climb the ranks of one of Japan's corporate icons.

Then his dream job turned into a nightmare.

He learned about a series of bizarre mergers and acquisitions deals totalling $1.7 billion - a scandal which if exposed threatened to bring down the entire company. He turned to his fellow executives but was met with hostility and a cover-up. Within weeks he was fired in a boardroom coup that shocked the international business world. As rumours emerged of Yakuza (mafia) involvement in the scandal, Woodford fled Japan in fear of his life. He went straight to the press - becoming the first CEO of a multinational to blow the whistle on his own company.

Exposure is a deeply personal memoir that reads like a thriller. As Woodford himself puts it, 'I thought I was going to run a health-care and consumer electronics company but found I had walked into a John Grisham novel.'

'Tells his tale like a thriller. A fine book by a fine man who did the right thing' -The Times

'A brilliantly gripping book, with a great hero at its heart' -Evening Standard

Michael Woodford grew up in Liverpool and joined Olympus as a medical equipment salesman, rising through the ranks to run its UK, MEA and European businesses. In April 2011 he was appointed President and COO of the Olympus Corporation - the first Western 'salary-man' to rise through the ranks to the top of a Japanese giant. That October he was made CEO, but only two weeks later was dismissed after querying inexplicable payments approaching $2 billion. He was named Business Person of the Year 2011 by the Sunday Times, the Independent and the Sun, and won the Financial Times Arcelor-Mittal Award for Boldest Businessperson of the Year. He lives in London with his wife and two teenage children.

From Publishers Weekly

28 January 2013 – Woodford's first-person narration sweeps the reader along as he's brought in as CEO of Olympus, a prominent Japanese company, just as suspicious company activities are becoming public knowledge. When top company officials resist his efforts to uncover the truth, and ultimately dismiss him in an almost unprecedented move, Woodford goes public. He emphasizes cultural differences, corporate and social, as a causative factor in his own situation. Yet Japanese business is not the Japanese people, for whom his admiration is manifest. Individual encounters highlight the contrast between the ordinary "salaryman" and the corporate hierarchy at Olympus. He suggests the initiative of Japanese muckraking magazine Facta and the hostile reaction at an outgoing board of directors meeting are signs that new business practices may someday change Japan. Woodford effectively interweaves individual and cultural themes. If his depiction of events sometimes includes the trite, self-important, and exaggerated, his insights into Japanese culture, international business practices, and the importance of personal integrity make this a memorable read.

Customer Reviews

A great insight

Very well written and engaging


What a brilliant book, a real page-turner! (not common for a business book). Hard to believe how corrupt corporate Japan really is and how much they do to cover it up... Thanks

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  • £9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biography
  • Published: 29 November 2012
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Print Length: 200 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings