TOKYO, EFE – Toshiba President and CEO Nobuaki Kurumatani has resigned after his leadership was questioned by shareholders, as the Japanese company studies an offer for its acquisition.
The board of directors accepted Kurumatani’s resignation at a Wednesday meeting and appointed Satoshi Tsunakawa – another senior executive of the company who had previously served as chair – as his successor, Toshiba said in a statement.
Kurumatani’s departure comes after the company’s president himself confirmed last week that it had received an offer from British investment fund CVC Capital Partners to take over the Japanese conglomerate.
The offer is valued at more than two trillion yen (about $A27 billion), and has raised concerns among Toshiba shareholders due to a possible conflict of interest, as Kurumatani previously served as representative for Japan’s CVC operations.
Kurumatani was appointed president of Toshiba in 2018 and became the group’s first top manager in half a century who had not made a career out of this company, mired in an extensive restructuring process.
On March 18, his leadership suffered a severe blow when an activist investor won a vote to investigate the legitimacy of the CEO’s re-election for the position in 2020 during an extraordinary company shareholders meeting.
The Effissimo Capital Management fund, the largest shareholder of the Japanese technology corporation with 9.9 per cent of shares, got support from the board to investigate the alleged pressure exerted by top company officials for Kurumatani to remain in power.
Toshiba has starred in a succession of accounting scandals in recent years, which earned it reprimands from Japanese regulators, and its financial troubles have led it to divest itself of its nuclear branch in the United States and its semiconductor subsidiary, until then the most profitable in the world.
After information that pointed to Kurumatani’s exit, Toshiba’s securities were the most traded in the first half of the session of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, and reached the half-day break with a rise of 6.63 per cent.