On Wednesday, at the annual meeting, shareholders of the Japanese corporation Toshiba voted for the resignation of the chairman of the board of directors of the company Osamu Nagayama. The reason was the scandal that erupted in early June. Then a report was published, from which it followed that the leadership of Toshiba was in collusion with officials of the Japanese government: their goal was to block the proposals of foreign investors concerning the fate of the company.
The investigation was initiated by Toshiba’s largest shareholder, the Singapore-based hedge fund Effissimo Capital Management, known as an investor-activist seeking to participate in decision-making about the company. The fund, together with other shareholders, tried to convince the Toshiba management of the need to restructure and sell part of the assets – in recent years, the corporation has been going through hard times. According to the investigation, the management of the corporation, together with officials, tried to prevent foreign investors from influencing decisions regarding Toshiba.
According to experts, the success of Toshiba shareholders is a rare example for the conservative corporate culture of Japan, and after it investors in other Japanese corporations may also increase the pressure on their management. “This result is a sign of a paradigm shift in Japan and will only encourage activist investors, both foreign and local,” said Justin Tan, head of Asia research at Singapore-based United First Partners.