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Ignore the elephant on the balance sheet
Ignore the elephant on the balance sheet

In his short, two-week term as CEO of Olympus, Michael Woodford uncovered some upsetting information about the company's financials -- it looked like executives may have been hiding up to $1.5 billion worth of investment losses. Woodford brought the issue to the board, and he was then fired faster than you can say the words "new employee orientation."

He's been vocal since his dismissal, which has attracted increased scrutiny toward the company, from investigators in Japan, the U.K., and the U.S., Woodford, for his part, may have played this fiasco right. He's even hinted that he's waiting in the wings to return to Olympus for a second go of it.

By Shelley DuBois, writer-reporter @FortuneMagazine - Last updated December 29 2011: 9:52 AM ET
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