We’re delighted to announce a book deal for a memoir by Michael Woodford, the 51-year-old former President and CEO of Olympus, who turned whistleblower when he uncovered an accounting fraud worth more than $1bn within the company that the board was trying to hide.
Editorial director Joel Rickett bought world English language rights jointly with Adrian Zackheim at Penguin USA through Patrick, having fought off simultaneous auctions in the UK and US, with a final three in each territory, with Penguin UK and US then joining forces to make a collective bid.
The book will be a narrative memoir, aimed between the markets for Liar’s Poker and Lost in Translation. It will detail how Woodford unearthed the fraud, having become the first British president of Japanese firm Olympus, heading up its 46,000-strong staff in Tokyo last April.
Once he discovered the fraud, he confronted the Olympus board of directors six times, telling them to come clean, and on the seventh attempt, the board voted to fire Woodford on the spot. He then blew the story through the Financial Times, and subsequently the seven board members have been arrested, and the rest of the company’s directors have resigned. Woodford has been voted businessman of the year in the Sunday Times.
The book was sold on the strength of a proposal, entitled Exposure: How One Man Rose to the Top of Olympus and the Deception He Discovered There. It was first auctioned in Japan, being sold for a high six-figure dollar Japanese deal with Hiroshi Hayakawa at Hayakawa Publishing, with Hamish MacAskill of the English Agency in Tokyo acting as our co-agents.
22 Feb 2012