March 21, 2012 / 7:28 AM / in 6 years

Olympus foreign shareholders renew call for "independent" chairman

TOKYO (Reuters) - A group of foreign shareholders in scandal-hit Olympus Corp, including Southeastern Asset Management and Indus Capital, on Wednesday blasted the company’s choice of chairman and renewed their call for someone more independent.

A staff member is silhouetted on a projector screen displaying a logo of Olympus Corp before a news conference in Tokyo February 13, 2012. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao

The statement came after Olympus last month nominated a former banker from Olympus’ main lender Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp as chairman, raising ire among foreign shareholders who want a board free from the influence of the company’s creditors.

“The proposed Chairman’s and certain other proposed board members’ close connection with Olympus’ main banks gives rise to a potential conflict of interest,” the shareholders said in an emailed statement on Wednesday.

Reporting by Chris Gallagher; Editing by Edwina Gibbs

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