Tokyo, Jun 25 (.) .- Toshiba shareholders dismissed the chairman of the board of directors and another senior executive today, in what is a resounding victory for activist investors against the board of directors of the technology conglomerate that has been going through scandals and financial problems for some time. years.
Shareholders rejected two of the eleven nominations to the board of directors, specifically that of the chairman of the board Osamu Nagayama and that of the member of the company’s audit committee, Nobuyuki Kobayashi, according to an internal company statement today.
The shareholders of the technology company cast their vote during the annual meeting held this Friday and rejected the re-election of both directors, which in practice implies a dismissal.
Who did survive the vote was Satoshi Tsunakawa, who serves as executive director or CEO and acting president of the company, and who during today’s meeting stated that the board “takes very seriously” the need for transparency and purging responsibilities .
This is a new blow to the top of the Japanese technology company, which recently dismissed two other executives involved in the scandal that dragged the company by an internal power struggle between investors.
Just a few weeks ago, the until now president of the board of directors had declared his interest in “strengthening” said body to improve the governance of the company, after the departure of two of its members due to the scandal of conspiracy of his board against of activist investors.
Nagayama was already in the crosshairs of some investors, critical of his nomination when it was revealed, by an independent investigation, that the top of Toshiba had colluded with senior officials of the Japanese Executive to weaken the position of activist investors on the board.
The company’s shares ended today with a 0.61% decline on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, while awaiting the convening of a new shareholders’ meeting to fill the vacant positions.
THE BATTLE OF ACTIVIST INVESTORS
Toshiba’s management has a long open conflict with activist investors, including foreign funds such as Singaporean Effissimo Capital, its largest shareholder.
Effissimo was the promoter of another independent investigation that uncovered the irregularities in the vote to re-elect Nobuaki Kurumatani as president and CEO, who resigned in mid-April in the middle of a power struggle for control of the technology conglomerate.
Following the scandal, Toshiba’s second-largest shareholder and Singapore-based activist investor, 3D Investment fund, called on the current Nagayama-led board of directors to resign entirely.
Currently, approximately half of the shares of the technology company are in the hands of foreign investors.
THE DECLINE OF TECHNOLOGY
What was once one of Japan’s largest tech corporations, a maker of everything from laptops to nuclear reactors, has been mired in serious financial trouble for years and plagued by various accounting scandals.
The beginning of its debacle originates in 2006 when it acquired Westinghouse, an American company that builds nuclear plants that ended up going bankrupt due to the slowdown in the global market for atomic energy after the disaster that affected the Fukushima plant in 2011.
Toshiba’s unfortunate commitment to atomic energy forced the conglomerate to divest itself of several of its most important branches such as the semiconductor subsidiary, the most profitable of the once giant, as well as its imaging and computer units, among others.
At the same time, the growing appearance of Chinese, South Korean or Taiwanese rivals in the global market was making Japanese manufacturers of electronic devices such as Toshiba itself or its competitors Sharp, Olympus or Hitachi less competitive.
In this context, the Japanese corporation has starred in a succession of accounting scandals in recent years and although the influx of foreign capital has kept it afloat, the power struggles for control of the company prevented activist investors from having greater participation in your decision making.
(c) . Agency