Fuji Xerox Chairman Yamamoto Resigns in Wake of New Zealand Accounting Scandal

Tadahito Yamamoto, chairman of Fuji Xerox was one of four executives whose resignations were announced on Monday.

The New York Times reports that, in the wake of accounting irregularities, Fuji Xerox, the Japan-based joint venture between Xerox and Fujifilm Holdings, reported yesterday that its chairman and three other executives were resigning over accounting problems discovered at its operations in Australia and New Zealand.

The resignations include that of Tadahito Yamamoto, chairman; Haruhiko Yoshida, a deputy president; and two directors, Katsuhiko Yanagawa and Jun Takagi.

The four executives who are resigning will leave their positions on June 22nd and replacements for them will be announced at the annual shareholders meeting. Shigetaka Komori, chairman and chief executive of Fujifilm Holdings plans to take on the role of chairman at Fuji Xerox as well.

Fujifilm had been investigating the manner in which Fuji Xerox sales managers in New Zealand and Australia reported income from copier/MFP leases. Lawyers and accounting specialists hired by Fujifilm said that the managers had overstated revenue by 37.5 billion yen (about $340 million U.S.), in the five years through 2016, Fujifilm said yesterday.

When copier/MFP billings fell short of projections, managers in New Zealand and Australia are said to have reported inflated numbers in order to to meet revenue targets, investigators found.

An anonymous Fuji Xerox whistle-blower first identified problems at the New Zealand unit in 2015, and in April 2017, Fujifilm stated that it was investigating what it believed then to be a ¥22 billion accounting discrepancy.

Senior executives will also take temporary pay cuts of between 10 percent and 30 percent, Fujifilm said.

Fuji Xerox parent Fujifilm Holdings recently told the Tokyo Stock Exchange a loss of NZ$284 million as a result of improper accounting in New Zealand has blown out to NZ$472 million after inappropriate practices were uncovered in Australia as well.

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