Why is it so hard to run a corporation ethically? I am not sure I know the answer, but Michael Woodford’s experience at camera manufacturer Olympus is enlightening. When he became President of Olympus, Woodford encountered a complex web of fraudulent companies that existed solely to hide earlier losses, which had resulted from a currency devaluation. When he attempted to “do the right thing,” Woodford was unceremoniously forced from office, while many of the people responsible for the scandal remained. Exposure highlights many problems with corporate policies in Japan, but given the scandals that have happened elsewhere it is clear that this book provides insight into corporate actions throughout the world.
I hope that if I am ever in the situation Michael Woodford was, I have the courage to act as he did. I recommend this book as a guide for how to act when confronted with a difficult situation.