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Toshiba hires new chief to steer past accounting scandal

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Vice President of Japan's Toshiba Corporation Satoshi Tsunakawa gestures as he answers questions during a press conference at the headquarters in Tokyo on May 6, 2016. Tsunakawa will assume new Toshiba president and Shiga will be chairman after the shareholders meeting in June. TORU YAMANAKA / AFP

Vice President of Japan’s Toshiba Corporation Satoshi Tsunakawa gestures as he answers questions during a press conference at the headquarters in Tokyo on May 6, 2016. Tsunakawa will assume new Toshiba president and Shiga will be chairman after the shareholders meeting in June. TORU YAMANAKA / AFP

Scandal-hit Toshiba on Friday appointed a new president to steer the vast conglomerate past a huge accounting scandal that has hammered its reputation.

Company veteran Satoshi Tsunakawa, 60, a senior vice president who joined Toshiba in 1979, will replace incumbent chief Masashi Muromachi in June, Toshiba said.

Muromachi became interim president in July last year after top executives resigned over the scandal.

The company on Friday also named a new chairman, saying that new leadership was crucial as Toshiba restructures its business.

“The decision was made on the basis that a series of business restructuring initiatives is on track, and that the company should move forward to focus on growth with a new management team,” it said.

A once proud pillar of corporate Japan, Toshiba has been besieged by problems, most notably a profit-padding scandal in which bosses for years systematically pushed subordinates to cover-up weak financial results.

Toshiba publishes its full-year earnings next week but it has already warned of a 470 billion yen ($4.4 billion) net loss for the last fiscal year as it booked a massive write-down of its US nuclear unit Westinghouse.

However, the shortfall is lower than a previous estimate of a 710 billion yen loss, partially offset by the sale of Toshiba’s medical devices business to Canon.



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