In neon, electric Tokyo, a gaijin has risen through the ranks of multi-national corporation to be the first outsider to take the role CEO. Soon after being given control he discovers corporate shenanigans and as he starts to investigate he gets stonewalled by shady characters loyal to the prior leadership. High stakes board room maneuvering ensues and the newly minted CEO finds himself sacked and smack dab in the middle of a major scandal.
The latest from a master thriller director or perhaps a bestseller from a dealer in international intrigue? Nope…the true story of Michael Woodford a three decade employee of technology giant Olympus Corporation.
Woodford earned the title of CEO the old fashioned way; he earned it. One of small number of top executives who found their way to the helm of a Japanese based multi-national, Woodford walks the reader through the finer points of crossing of formal cultural and business traditions of the Far-East boardroom.
Woodford paints a detailed portrait of the changing landscape of business in Japan at a time of internal upheaval caused by the devastating earthquake that hit the nation in 2011. The result is a page turner that only loses some stream when Woodford gets locked into describing the finer things in life that come with the rarified air of the executive suite.
In a day and age when corporate leaders are vilified for their ruthless wheeling and dealing, Woodford’s story is one of a morally centered CEO who faced with a difficult choice, did the right thing and held those responsible for their dirty dealings accountable for their actions.