Former FX NZ execs to be sued

Several senior former executives at Fuji Xerox New Zealand are to be sued by the digital giant, following the damning independent investigation into the $450m accounting scandal in Australia and New Zealand.

Fuji Xerox New Zealand, Fuji Xerox Finance, and parent shareholder, Fuji Xerox Asia Pacific, have filed civil proceedings in the High Court at Auckland against ‘former senior executives’ of Fuji Xerox New Zealand.

The executives have not been named. The scandal was revealed to have taken place during the period Neil Whittaker was managing director of the company, first in New Zealand and latterly in Australia. Whittaker resigned days after an unannounced audit into the business by Fuji Xerox regional headquarters.

Isamu Sekine, Fuji Xerox Asia Pacific president and chief executive officer says, “Fuji Xerox is committed to resolving these past issues and ensuring they do not happen again.

“Customers can be confident that Fuji Xerox New Zealand is committed to running its business in a principled way and will continue to lead the market in the delivery of print, document management and business optimisation solutions."

The full investigative report was published last month and translated into English. It revealed a local company driven by a sales at any cost culture, with Mr A – named by a New Zealand MP as Whittaker – systematically weakening the checks and balances, continued malpractice in accounts culminating in some $30m of booked sales in 2015 being simply made up, extraordinary salary and incentive packages with the top salesman on more than $1m a year, while head office in Tokyo ignored repeated warnings about the situation as it focused on its own domestic issues.

The report forced parent Fujifilm to delay publishing its annual accounts while they were recalibrated, and saw the departure of most of the top directors at Fuji Xerox in Japan, while staff turnover at a local level has been high.

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