The Olympus scandal that rocked the business world last year was one of the biggest cases of financial fraud ever seen in corporate Japan. The Economist has published an interesting piece on why Japanese capitalism might not learn from the mistake:
At one point Olympus’s shares lost about 80% of their value, yet its institutional shareholders uttered not “one word” of criticism against the company’s board [...] For many, the Olympus scandal highlighted the need for more checks and balances. Mr Woodford (pictured), whose angry memoir is to be published this month, likens Japanese boardrooms to “Alice in Wonderland”. They need more assertive shareholders and regulators, and more independent directors, he reckons.
Keidanren, Japan’s big-business lobby, appears to have drawn the opposite conclusion. Olympus had three external directors, a high number for Japan [...] The problem, in Keidanren’s view, was too much external scrutiny.
After the United States was rocked by its own series of financial scandals in the early 2000s, the government increased regulation by passing the controversial Sarbanes–Oxley Act of 2002.
After the Olympus scandal, Japan Inc wants less scrutiny [The Economist]
Image credit: Photo illustration based on The Donatello Boardroom by ShellVacationsHospitality and Search. by Jeffrey Beall
Last week, Canon reported its latest quarter’s financial results, which included some big double-digit drops in revenue and profit. Now it’s Nikon’s turn to show the world how it’s finances are doing. The company reported its latest quarterly results yesterday, and the numbers are decent.
It seems like Kodak is having a hard time figuring out how to getting its finances back in the black. Kodak has announced its 3rd quarter financial results, and the numbers aren’t pretty — they’re downright ugly, actually. Despite raking in $1 billion over the three-month period ending in September (down 19% from the same period last year), the company still posted a net loss of $312 million (up from a loss of $222M during the same period last year).
Canon released its quarterly financial results yesterday, and things aren’t looking so rosy based on Q3 2012. Revenue has fallen 13% to $10.3 billion from the same period last year, and profit dropped 42% to $908 million.
When Sony unveiled its “One Sony” game plan back in March after posting billions in losses, the company highlighted digital photography as one of its three main pillars going forward. It was a bit of a surprise, then, when Sony announced today that it will soon be closing a large lens manufacturing factory in Japan as part of the restructuring efforts.
People say money can’t buy happiness. Turns out there’s another thing it can’t buy: photo sharers. Despite raising a staggering $41 million in funding before even launching, the photo sharing app Color has been struggling to find users. Even after major pivots that changed the service’s DNA, the app only has less than half a million active users.
There was a good deal of buzz in the tech world today after Ricardo Bilton of VentureBeat reported that the app has been slated for closure.
Best Buy has been struggling in recent years as consumers have increasingly looked to the Internet for their gadget shopping needs. It’s quickly gaining a reputation of being a place where people “try before they go home and buy online” (known as “showrooming“) If you’ve been using the store as your personal camera showroom and are in the market for a new camera, you might want to bring your wallet the next time you visit: Best Buy is planning to extend its price match policies to online retailers this holiday season.
It is commonly said that a picture is worth a thousand words. It seems that US smartphone users agree, for Instagram has now passed Twitter in active user count. The legions of Instagrammers aren’t just checking their beloved social network more than their Tweeting counterparts — their eyeballs are glued on it longer as well.
Kodak divisions are falling left and right as the company struggles to claw its way out of bankruptcy protection. After killing off its camera business and selling off its film business earlier this year, Kodak announced today that it will shortly be pulling out of the consumer printing business in order to focus on commercial printing.
Good news, Flickr fans: new Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is paying attention to your service, and is planning to make it a big part of her plans to turn the company around. Mayer will be holding her first “all hands” meeting tomorrow, during which she will reveal her plans on how to fix the beleaguered web pioneer. Among these plans are an emphasis on user experience over advertising revenue and special attention given to Flickr. Kara Swisher of AllThingsD writes,
It’s all based around learning technology that Yahoo has been working on called CORE, or Content Optimization and Relevance Engine. There will be lots of linking out and an attempt to make Yahoo more of a platform for others to develop on top of.
It’s a little Facebook-like, said several sources, but more focused on content and other products that differentiate Yahoo. Mayer has decided to back 10 key arenas, such as its powerful Yahoo Finance and Yahoo Sports sites, as well as its Flickr photo offering.
[...] In addition, Mayer has already ordered the removal of some ads from both Yahoo’s email service and also its home page, cutting them back to improve the consumer experience. That’s a dicey move since Yahoo makes a big chunk of change from those ads, especially on the home page.
It seems like Mayer is paying heed to the Internet’s polite request for her to “please make Flickr awesome again.”