Toshiba Corp shareholders voted out its board chairman and one other director on Friday, a forceful rebuke of the company after it was found to have colluded with the government in suppressing foreign investor interests.
Following are comments on the vote, which is seen by many as a big win for corporate governance in Japan.
3D INVESTMENT PARTNERS, TOSHIBA’S SECOND-LARGEST SHAREHOLDER
“We hope that today’s AGM marks the beginning of a new era at Toshiba –one that will be marked by a focus on value creation, transparency to all stakeholders and a renewed commitment to building trust with shareholders.
“We welcome the recent changes to the Board because we are optimistic about the future and Toshiba’s potential.
“We stand ready to do our best to assist the Company and look forward to a constructive, ongoing dialog with the Board and management team.”
JUSTIN TANG, HEAD OF ASIAN RESEARCH AT UNITED FIRST PARTNERS IN SINGAPORE
“This result is a sign of a paradigm shift in Japan and will only embolden activist investors whether foreign or domestic.”
NICHOLAS BENES, HEAD OF NON-PROFIT BOARD DIRECTOR TRAINING INSTITUTE OF JAPAN
“The AGM result sends a resounding message to executives and directors in Japan that shareholders will hold them more accountable in the future.
“The AGM proxy materials nominated 13 directors, but only nine were elected. This sort of thing is extremely rare in Japan. At the same time, instability factors have arisen. It is not clear who will be chairperson of the board, or who will chair and serve on the all-important nominations committee, which has now lost two members.
“Hopefully, these aspects will be resolved to the satisfaction of most shareholders soon.”
HIROSHI KAJIYAMA, JAPAN’S TRADE MINISTER (AHEAD OF THE AGM)
“In general the hope is that corporate governance can be improved through discussions with shareholders and at the same time we work to secure the stable development of businesses and technology that are important from a national security standpoint.” (Reporting by Reuters staff; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)