that Olympus Corporation Chairman and President Tsuyoshi Kikukawa resigned today after questions about the company's mergers and acquisitions have caused the company's value to plunge more than 50% in less than two weeks.
The questions began on October 14th when Olympus fired its previous president, Michael Woodford, after only six months on the job. Woodford is now in the United States to meet FBI investigators, according to Bloomberg.
Since being fired, Woodford has revealed that in the course of acquiring a British medical equipment company in 2008, when Kikukawa was previously President and Chairman, Olympus paid a US$687 advisory fee to two connected, now-defunct firms, based in New York and The Cayman Islands. The fee, worth 36% of the value of the transaction, was the largest mergers and acquisitions advisory fee ever paid, according to reports, and far above the customary 1% or so for M&A advisory services.