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[纽约时报] [2011.11.25]First, He Blew the Whistle on Olympus. Next, He Wants to Lead Its

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社区建设奖终身成就奖突出贡献奖解答高手英语达人才华横溢优秀斑竹

发表于 2011-11-29 15:27 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
First, He Blew the Whistle on Olympus. Next, He Wants to Lead Its Comeback
他告发了奥林巴斯,却意欲重返

                                         
TOKYO — When Olympus fired Michael Woodford, its British chief executive, in October, the company said he had been unable to conform to Japanese-style management.
东京报道—10月,奥林巴斯董事会撤销了迈克尔•伍德福德首席执行官的职务,公司宣布他不适合再管理日式风格的公司。

Since then, Mr. Woodford has taken the decidedly non-Japanese step of publicly rebuking his employer and, by blowing the whistle on his own company, has done something rare for a chief executive anywhere in the world.
从那以后,伍德福德先生确实采取了非日本的方式公开批评其老板,并告发了本公司,做了世界上任何地方的首席执行官很少会去做的事。

His allegations of billion-dollar malfeasance have set off investigations on three continents. Olympus has since acknowledged long-running efforts that it says were meant to hide steep financial losses. Now, Mr. Woodford is making his next unorthodox move.
他指控其有数亿美元不法收入,这使得三大洲对其展开了调查。奥林巴斯此后也承认这一持续相当长的意欲将财政损失掩盖起来的做法。现在,迈克尔.伍德福德正准备采取下一步行动。  

On Friday he plans to return to Olympus headquarters for a board meeting, where he said he would demand that the entire board come clean on details of their actions and step down to take responsibility. (Because of a technicality, Mr. Woodford is still an Olympus director.)
周五,他计划重返奥林巴斯董事会参加会议,在此之前他曾要求董事会合盘托出其行动内容,并以集体辞职的方式来承担责任。(因为从职能方面说,伍德福德先生仍然是奥林巴斯的一名董事)

He said he would offer to return to Olympus as president and lead a turnaround at the iconic Japanese company that some analysts and investors fear risks being delisted from the Tokyo Stock Exchange and could even be on the verge of collapse.
他说,他将提议回到奥林巴斯做董事长,并领导这家昔日辉煌的日本公司就许多分析家和投资家都担心其有被从东京股票交易场上除名以及将濒临破产的风险上好转起来。

“I want to look them in the eye and talk to them directly,” Mr. Woodford said at an interview over dinner Wednesday in Tokyo, shortly after flying from London and being thronged by Japanese reporters eager to speak with the outsider who dared to speak up.
“我想和他们进行一次坦诚的谈话,”伍德福德于周三在东京进行的一次宴会的采访中如是说。而就在他刚从伦敦到达东京不久,一群日本记者蜂拥而至,他们都急切地想采访这位敢于直言的外来者。

“I hope the company won’t be delisted, but I certainly wouldn’t compromise getting to the truth, because staying listed shouldn’t be the criteria,” he said.
“我不希望公司退市,可是为了得到真相,我也绝不会妥协。因为上市不应成为评判的标准。”他说。

Olympus’s taking Mr. Woodford up on his comeback offer might be a long shot. But hundreds of rank-and-file employees at Olympus have signed petitions urging the company’s top management to resign and calling for Mr. Woodford to return — a rare uprising in a nation that values company loyalty above all.
要奥林巴斯接受伍德福德重回的提议是不太可能的。可是数以百计的各级雇员已经签署请愿书敦促公司高层管理人员辞职并且要求伍德福德先生回到奥林巴斯。这在一个视忠诚超过一切的国家来说是一个十分罕见的“暴动”。

If he were reinstated, Mr. Woodford said, change at the company would be swift. And any housecleaning would include unwinding Olympus, a maker of medical imaging products and digital cameras, from the jumble of unrelated small businesses it acquired as part of the financial cover-up.
伍德福德说,如果他重新复职,公司将会迅速的发生变化。其中包括使这个主营医学影像产品和数字摄像机的公司摆脱与他毫不相关的行业---许多都是用来作为财政上的掩护才购买的。

“The sooner you get out of the cat food and face cream and microwavable plates, the better,” he said. “Almost all of it, I would shut quickly.”
“越早摆脱这些小生意越好,我将会迅速关掉它们。”,伍德福德说道。

By challenging the Olympus board, Mr. Woodford — the first non-Japanese to lead Olympus in its 94-year history and one of few foreign chief executives in the country — will be confronting a closed, homogenous corporate culture that changed little through Japan’s freewheeling bubble economy of the late 1980s, the subsequent bubble-bursting in the ’90s and the national economic stagnation ever since.
伍德福德是奥林巴斯94年历史上领导奥林巴斯的第一个非日籍人士,也是这个国家为数不多的外国首席执行官。而挑战董事会的他将面临一个封闭且同质的企业文化。这种公司文化即使在经历了上世纪80年代后期的自由泡沫经济,90年代泡沫经济破裂,以及此后停滞不前的国家经济之后,仍然没有很大改变。

Truly independent board members are rare in corporate Japan, and foreign ones are even rarer. Cozy cross-shareholding arrangements typically ensure compliant stockholders who tolerate mediocre management, or look the other way in cases of boardroom impropriety. And in a mixture of fact and myth, often lurking in the background of the Japanese business world are tales of corruption and rumored links to the country’s infamous organized crime syndicates, the yakuza.
实际上,真正自主的董事会成员在日本公司非常少,而外国董事就更少了。交错持有股票这一惬意的安排确实与某些股东的想法相一致,因而他们可以容忍平庸的管理或在董事会有不法行为的情况下寻求其他方法。在真相和谎言难辨的情况下,常常有一个潜在的背景,那就是日本商界存在贪污且据说和日本声名狼藉的黑社会组织相联系的传闻。

In the case of Olympus, investigations by public officials in Japan and law enforcement agencies in the United States and Britain have focused on $687 million in advisory fees paid in 2008 to an obscure financial adviser for Olympus’s acquisition of the British medical equipment maker Gyrus — fees equal to roughly a third of the $2 billion acquisition price and more than 30 times the going rate. Olympus also acquired three small Japanese companies from 2006 to 2008 with little in common with its core business for a total of $773 million, only to write down most of the value of each within the same fiscal year it was acquired.
在奥林巴斯丑闻事件中,日本政府官员和美英两国的法律执行机构共同进行调查。尤其是,2008年,奥林巴斯斥资2亿美元收购了英国医疗器械公司Gyrus,其中支付给一家不知名的金融咨询机构的咨询费高达6.87亿美元,超过收购价的三成。通常情况下,咨询费为收购价的1%。2006年至2008年间,奥林巴斯以773亿日元(约合9.4亿美元)收购了日本国内三家基本与本业无关的公司,以此掩盖当年财务状况的亏损。

Olympus has said those acquisitions were part of a plan to hide past losses on investments, and blamed three executives — including the former president Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, who has since been dismissed. Mr. Kikukawa also remains a board member, though it is unclear whether he will be present at Friday’s board meeting. The company has appointed a committee of outside legal experts to investigate the cover-up.
奥林巴斯承认这些并购案一部分是为了掩盖投资亏损,并且已经谴责了3名高管,包括已经卸任的前任总裁菊川刚。虽然菊川刚仍然是董事会成员,但并不确定他是否会出现在周五的董事会上。公司指定了一个由法律专家组成的第三方调查委员会来对这些隐瞒事件进行调查。

Olympus has declined to comment on the investigations or to make its executives or former executives available for interviews.
奥林巴斯拒绝对这些调查加以评论,也拒绝公司现在或之前的管理人员接受采访。

Criminal investigators in Japan are also trying to determine whether at least $2 billion more in unaccounted funds went to companies with links to organized crime, according to an investigator’s memo. Olympus strongly denied those allegations earlier this week.
根据一个调查者的备忘录显示,日本刑事调查人员也正在试图查明是否有至少2亿美元的不明资金进入与犯罪集团联系的公司。奥林巴斯在本周早期曾强烈反对这些指控。

It has been a roller-coaster ride at Olympus for Mr. Woodford. He rose from a surgical salesman at Olympus to, at the age of 29, managing director of the company’s British medical subsidiary, and then eventually ran Olympus’s entire business in Europe.
对伍德福德来说,在奥林巴斯犹如坐“过山车”一样。他起初是奥林巴斯一名外科推销员,29岁时,升任英国医疗子公司的总经理,此后最终负责经营奥林巴斯在整个欧洲的业务。
But Mr. Woodford said he ran into what appeared to be strange goings-on at the company. He flew to Tokyo to tender his resignation in 2008, he said, when he found out about the Gyrus acquisition, for example. Although the acquisition should have fallen under Mr. Woodford’s purview, the deal to buy the British medical equipment maker was arranged from Tokyo by the president at the time, Mr. Kikukawa.
但伍德福德表示他在这个公司碰上了似乎很奇怪的事。比如,他声称,2008年,当他查明并购Gyrus事件时,他曾飞到东京提交辞呈。尽管此次并购本应属于伍德福德职权范围之内,但购买英国医疗器械产商这一交易却是由东京方面当时的董事长菊川刚先生安排进行的。

Before Mr. Woodford could submit his resignation, Mr. Kikukawa assigned him to oversee all of Olympus’s businesses in Europe and offered to make him a board member — a startling promotion. Mr. Woodford, who said he suspected no criminal activity, decided to stay.
伍德福德还没来得及递交辞呈,菊川刚就任命他监管奥林巴斯在欧洲所有的生意并且还让他成为了董事会成员,这一提拔实在让人非常惊讶。当时伍德福德认为这里面并没有不法行为,所以决定留任。

In February, Mr. Kikukawa again promoted Mr. Woodford, this time to company president, in recognition of the substantial growth in the company’s European operations. Anointing a British executive was seen as a bold move for the company. But Mr. Kikukawa kept his chief executive title.
2月,菊川刚再次提拔伍德福德,使之担任公司社长,以褒奖公司欧洲运营大幅的增长。任命一个英国执行长官被视为公司一个大胆的尝试,不过,菊川刚仍保留其首席执行官头衔。

Their relationship quickly deteriorated, Mr. Woodford said. When the Japanese finance magazine Facta published an article in July questioning a series of Olympus acquisitions, Mr. Woodford says he discussed it with Mr. Kikukawa, who he said told him not to worry about it. But when Mr. Woodford continued to press the matter in what he called “exceptionally heated and emotional” meetings and letters, Mr. Kikukawa agreed to give up his chief executive title to Mr. Woodford.
伍德福德说,他们的关系很快就恶化了。7月,日本金融杂志《Facta(要素)》发表了一篇文章质疑奥林巴斯的一系列收购案。伍德福德说他曾与菊川刚就此事进行过讨论,但菊川刚告诉他不要担忧。但当他用他所谓非常激烈和情绪化的会议和文字形式继续追问下去时,菊川刚同意放弃他首席执行官的头衔,并将这一头衔给予伍德福德。

That move, effective Oct. 1, in theory gave Mr. Woodford the right to nominate top management. But at a meeting on Oct. 14, the board unceremoniously dismissed Mr. Woodford, telling him to leave the country. “I was very shaken,” he said.
此次让位于10月1号生效,伍德福特有权任命公司高层。但是在10月14日召开的会议上,董事会突然宣告解聘伍德福特,并要求他离开日本。伍德福特说:“当时我非常震惊。”

Whatever happens with Mr. Woodford’s effort to return to Olympus, analysts say it is uncertain how deeply public investigators in Japan will dig into the cover-up, including allegations of organized crime links. Japanese police have recently bolstered efforts to crack down on the yakuza and sever its long-standing ties to industry and politics.
不管伍德福特做出何种努力重返奥林巴斯,分析人士说,日本的公众调查者会怎样去挖掘奥林巴斯掩盖投资损失的真相,其中包括与犯罪组织联系的指控,这些都不确定。最近,日本政策也对整顿黑道势力进行了援助,切断了其长期存在的与工业和政治活动的联系。

But financial regulators have seldom been keen to shed light on potential criminal entanglements that might roil Japanese markets and scare away foreign investors, said Tadashi Kageyama, senior managing director and head of Asia and Japan for Kroll, a global risk consultancy with expertise in fraud and corporate governance. That ambivalent stance, he said, has led to inconsistent regulatory actions that are prone to political pressure and have hurt long-term market confidence.

专门从事诈骗案和公司治理的全球风险咨询公司Kroll,其亚洲和日本区域负责人兼高级主管Tadashi Kageyama说道,金融管理机构很少会对此刑事纠葛做出解释,这种纠葛可能会扰乱日本市场,吓跑外方投资者。此矛盾立场已经形成了不一致的调控措施,这将很容易造成政治压力以及挫败市场长期发展的信心。

On Thursday, Mr. Woodward will meet with Japanese authorities to submit evidence.
周四,伍德福特将与日本司法机关人员会面,提交证据。

“Now the greater good that motivates me is what’s good for Japan,” he said. “It’s gone way beyond Olympus now.”  他说:“现如今对日本有利的事情,就能更好地激励我。现在正是奥林巴斯爆发的时候了。”

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