Toshiba sacked Westinghouse Electric's chairman two days before the U.S. nuclear engineering subsidiary filed for bankruptcy protection last week, as the Japanese firm tries to draw a line under the travails of a business that has cost it billions of dollars.
A spokesman for Toshiba said Danny Roderick was replaced as Westinghouse's chairman by Mamoru Hatazawa, chief of Toshiba's nuclear division, on March 27, two days before the Chapter 11 filing. Hatazawa's role would be temporary, he added.
Roderick, described by industry and company insiders as more salesman than engineer, was the driving force behind Toshiba's nuclear ambitions.
Toshiba said the executive change, only the second to be made at the top level since the Westinghouse crisis began to unfold in December, was intended to reassure clients in advance of the bankruptcy filing. Shigenori Shiga, a former Westinghouse boss, resigned as Toshiba's chairman earlier this year.
Calls to Roderick seeking comment went unanswered.