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Kuniaki Nozoe

The typical Japanese executive who’s forced out of his company goes quietly, said Daisuke Wakabayashi and Juro Osawa in The Wall Street Journal. Kuniaki Nozoe is not your typical Japanese executive. The former Fujitsu Ltd. president, who was fired last September, “has stunned Japan by challenging his ouster.” The IT services company initially blamed “illness” for Nozoe’s sudden departure. But Fujitsu has since changed that account, announcing that it dismissed Nozoe because of his association with “a disreputable firm” tied to organized crime. Nozoe adamantly denies the allegation. Speaking publicly for the first time since his ouster, Nozoe offers another reason for his dismissal. “I made a lot of changes all at once,” he says. “This being Japan, that probably did create some resistance.”

Whatever the truth behind Nozoe’s departure, Fujitsu has done itself no favors, said the Financial Times. The Tokyo Stock Exchange has scolded the company for changing its story about Nozoe’s dismissal, and investors have punished the company’s stock. The company could have avoided the whole mess if it had just “come clean” in the first place. “As ever, it’s the coverup that kills you.”

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