Heads roll at Toyo in light of earthquake dampner scandal

On 23 June Toyo Tire & Rubber Co., Ltd. chairman Akira Nobuki resigned and executive corporate officer Tetsuya Kuze was demoted in order to take responsibility for Toyo Chemical Industrial Products Co., Ltd.’s sale of non-compliant seismic isolation rubber products. Four more executives announced their retirement. All the personnel changes take effect from 1 July 2015.

The board decision follows the conclusion of an external report on the scandal, which was released a day earlier on 22 June. Toyo’s board says it will appoint a new management team at the next emergency shareholders meeting in the autumn. Until his successor is appointed, Takuji Yamamoto will continue in his current role as president in order to “manage remediation efforts at Toyo Chemical, and to effect an orderly transition to the new management team”, the company wrote in a statement. However, while Yamamoto continues in the same positions he has held before now until the next extraordinary meeting of the shareholders in the Autumn, the company said he will hold these responsibilities “no later than year-end”.

Meanwhile, as well as losing his job, former chairman Akira Nobuki has been asked to return 50 per cent of what he was paid the past year, while Yamamoto and other board members will have their future remunerations cut by up to 50 per cent.

Japan Times reported that Toyo is considering whether to file criminal charges against employees involved in falsifying product data.

After the non-compliance allegations came to light in March, Toyo Tire reported that non-compliant building earthquake shock absorber devices in question had been installed in 154 buildings including hospitals and schools.

In a bid to sure up corporate governance, Toyo said it will appoint a chairman or special advisor from outside the company as well.

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