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By | John Oates 8th March 2010 09:27

Fujitsu president was sacked, not sick

Dodgy dealing not doctor's note behind departure

Fujitsu has admitted that its ex-president Kuniaki Nozoe, who left the firm in September apparently due to ill health, was in fact sacked by the board of directors.

Nozoe left Fujitsu in September last year with a company statement blaming illness. But last week Nozoe reportedly wrote to Fujitsu asking for his resignation to be nullified or reversed, a tactic which hasn't gone well.

In response Fujitsu put out an extraordinary statement accusing him of links with an unidentified third firm which was owned by a group with "an unfavorable reputation".

The statement said that Nozoe was involved with this firm through a director who he had known for some time. An investigation by Fujitsu found this relationship was inappropriate and in conflict with "the Fujitsu Way". The board of directors told Nozoe that he should end contact with this unnamed company and he agreed.

But later the board found that Nozoe was still working with this third party. On 25 September Nozoe was informed that if the investigation proved true he would be dismissed but the board would also accept his resignation.

Nozoe pleaded that his relationship with the company was personal and that he understood that its parent company would not be involved in the project and "that he had given instructions to that effect".

But he accepted that his explanation was inadequate and resigned.

Fujitsu said it was not in a position to reveal the true reason for Nozoe's departure because any statement would have damaged the third party's business.

The statement said: "Under the circumstances, and due to the fact that Mr Nozoe's health was indeed suffering, the Company announced, with the explicit approval of Mr Nozoe, that the resignation was due to illness."

Fujitsu asked for understanding as to why it did not reveal the full facts at the time. Nozoe has also been sacked as a senior adviser.

Fujitsu said Nozoe's actions were in no way illegal but left the company at risk. ®

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