Three top Olympus executives resign from board on eve of crucial meet

Three disgraced executives of Japan's scam-hit Olympus Corp resigned from the board on the eve of Friday's crucial meeting, where former CEO Michael Woodford plans to take on other directors and question them on their role.

''I want to take the opportunity to look the directors in the eye and tell them what I think is best for the company,'' Woodford, a 30-year veteran at Olympus, told reporters in Tokyo.

Woodford added, ''I just hope they understand the game is up and do the decent thing, stop damaging the company. Don't look for self-interest, look for the 45,000 people. Have some shame, have some dignity, that's what I want to tell them.''

Woodford, who returned to Tokyo on Wednesday, after hastily leaving for his native England after being sacked as CEO in October, welcomed the resignations of former president and chairman Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, former vice-president Hisashi Mori and internal auditor Hideo Yamada.

He, however, demanded that the entire board of directors should also resign (See: Camera-maker Olympus admits to window-dressing books).

''If they have an iota of care for the company then they should realise what they have done and give assurances they will resign in the near future,'' said an outspoken Woodford, who also took on Japanese shareholders for their passivity and the media for failing to pursue the scandal.