February 27, 2012 / 6:19 AM / 7 years ago

Olympus taps insider, ex-banker for top board posts

TOKYO (Reuters) - Olympus Corp tapped a company veteran as president and a former banker from its main lender as chairman on Monday, a move likely to upset big foreign investors as it tries to recover from an accounting scandal that tarnished its image and hammered its balance sheet.

The Japanese maker of cameras and medical equipment said it would promote executive officer Hiroyuki Sasa to president, subject to approval at its April 20 shareholders meeting.

Olympus also named Yasuyuki Kimoto as chairman. It will hold a news conference at 5:30 p.m. (0830 GMT).

Kimoto is a former executive at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp, a unit of Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. He is currently president of Japan Research Institute, an SMFG think-tank.

Foreign shareholders have voiced concern over the influence that Olympus’s main banks could hold over the new board as it considers equity tie-ups to shore up its finances in the wake of the $1.7 billion scandal.

The accounting fraud, one of Japan’s biggest corporate scandals, came to light in October when former Olympus CEO Michael Woodford blew the whistle. It was later revealed that several executives kept the fraud going for 13 years in order to hide investment losses and keep them off its books. ?

Reporting by Chris Gallagher and Mayumi Negishi; Editing by Michael Watson

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