German tapped to lead Japan’s medical firm Olympus as CEO

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese medical equipment maker Olympus said Friday it has named as its next chief govt Stefan Kaufmann, a German who has worked for 2 a protracted time on the producer once known for dilapidated-model photographic cameras.

Kaufmann’s appointment will settle on raze in April, pending board approval, said Tokyo-based mostly fully Olympus Corp. It said Kaufmann will lead Olympus’ enlargement within the med-tech area, ensuring the firm adapts to scientific needs and necessities.

Essentially based in 1919, final yr Olympus handed over its outdated-usual camera-making industry to Japan Industrial Companions, an funding firm. It now specializes in medical expertise corresponding to endoscopes, tubes with miniature cameras that docs use to acknowledge internal the human physique.

The firm said Yasuo Takeuchi, its unique chief govt, will change into its chairman.

Olympus made headlines a decade ago when but any other foreign chief govt, Briton Michael Woodford, used to be fired after he raised questions about millions of bucks in dubious funds. The firm later admitted the money used to be a veil-up for gigantic funding losses.

For the time being, Woodford’s case used to be seen shall we utter of how Japanese companies had a laborious time coping with foreign managers, and vice versa. Critics said his treatment moreover highlighted how insular Japan Inc. used to be failing to live up to skilled ethics requirements.

Kaufmann is a director, govt officer and chief administrative officer at Olympus with expertise in Europe, the Center East and Africa.

It is a long way calm comparatively uncommon for a non-Japanese to settle on the helm at a Japanese firm. About 7.3% Japanese companies are headed by foreigners, compared with 33.7% within the united states, in step with Tokyo-based mostly fully consultant Cissoko and Co.

Kaufmann said he used to be attentive to likely risk as a foreigner coping with Japan and so Takeuchi and he were a crew to be particular he will get make stronger in what he called “any cultural roles.”

In a web-based personnel interview, Takeuchi and Kaufmann said Olympus had turned a “unique chapter” for the reason that accounting scandals of a decade ago, and now its governance used to be solid.

“We are a brand unique Olympus,” Kaufmann said.

In a handful of cases, foreign management has been judged successful. That includes Belgian-born Jean-Marc Gilson’s aim at Mitsubishi Chemical Team, and Frenchman Christophe Weber at Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., though the numbers are gradually rising, said SOURCE.

In a case the save things ended badly, Carlos Ghosn, a French-Brazilian of Lebanese ancestry, used to be sent by French automaker Renault SA to aid revive its sick partner Nissan Motor Co. Ghosn led a spectacular turnaround but used to be arrested on varied monetary misconduct costs in unhurried 2018. He fled to Lebanon in unhurried 2019. He says he’s innocent.


Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter https://twitter.com/yurikageyama

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