Toshiba has released an open letter regarding recently publicized information from an independent investigation, which found that the company pressured shareholders into voting a certain way. The company says in the letter that it acknowledges the actions and that they have impacted trust.
The letter arrives a week before shareholders meet to vote on nominees for the positions of executive officer, committee members, and director. The independent inquiry into Toshiba was done by three lawyers from three different law firms, who looked at allegations that the company pressured shareholders to vote to reappoint Nobuaki Kurumatani as CEO last year.
After the shareholders, led by Effissimo Capital Management, passed the motion to conduct the investigation, Kurumatani stepped down from his CEO position and was replaced by former CEO Satoshi Tsunakawa.
The report (PDF) shows that Japanese government officials colluded with the company, to prevent shareholders from exercising their right to vote, during 2020’s general meeting. The report continues to say that the company conspired with the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry, to prevent Effissimo Capital management, which controls 9.9% of Toshiba’s shares, from exercising their rights at annual general meetings.
Penned by Osamu Nagayama, Toshiba chairperson, the letter said that the company would conduct an investigation, into why shareholders were pressured to vote a specific way and put new measures in place to ensure compliance is upheld.
Nagayama continues to say that he pledges to be an agent of positive change and not a protector of the status quo. He added that the company was fast-tracking the process to replace Tsunakawa and introduce independent board members. It remains to be seen whether Toshiba will retain its footing during this rocky time when shareholders have been alienated.