Toshiba Chair­man Quits Af­ter $6.3-B Nu­clear Write­down

The Economic Times - - Around The World -

Tokyo: Toshiba, the em­bat­tled tech­nol­ogy con­glom­er­ate, said it would take a fi­nan­cial hit of more than $ 6 bil­lion and its chair­man would step down as the im­pact of its dis­as­trous bet on Amer­i­can nu­clear power con­tin­ued to rock an icon of cor­po­rate Ja­pan. The an­nounce­ment of the planned write-down and res­ig­na­tion, which came af­ter a day of un­cer­tainty on Tuesday as Toshiba equiv­o­cated on whether it would re­lease the news, re­flected in­tense pres­sure on Toshiba ex­ec­u­tives over the write­down — and the busi­ness de­ci­sions that led up to it. Com­pany of­fi­cials said Tuesday that they were ex­am­in­ing whether man­agers had by­passed in­ter­nal con­trols when they struck a deal for a busi­ness at the cen­ter of the prob­lems. The hits come from Toshiba’s in­vest­ment in West­ing­house, the Amer­i­can nu­clear power com­pany, re­flect­ing spi­ral­ing cost over­runs at nu­clear plant projects in the United States. In De­cem­ber, Toshiba said it would most likely have to de­clare “sev­eral bil­lion US dol­lars” in write­downs at the nu­clear unit.

On Tuesday, it put the size of the West­ing­house write-down at 712.5 bil­lion yen, or about $ 6.3 bil­lion. Toshiba also said its chair­man, Shigenori Shiga, would re­sign to take “man­age­ment re­spon­si­bil­ity for the loss”. The fig­ure an­nounced on Tuesday was at the high end of the range ex­pected by an­a­lysts, who had sug­gested the loss would be be­tween $4 bil­lion and $7 bil­lion. Ini­tially, it looked as though Toshiba might post­pone the reck­on­ing al­to­gether.

Shigenori Shiga

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