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Olympus CEO Turned Whistleblower to Speak at NACD Annual Conference

WASHINGTON, July 2, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Few corporate leaders possess the courage displayed by former Olympus President and CEO Michael Woodford when he blew the whistle on the very company he spent 30 years serving. The National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) is pleased to announce Woodford as a keynote speaker at its annual Board Leadership Conference on Oct. 13-15 in Washington, D.C.

Woodford assumed the role of president at Olympus in February 2011, and shortly after discovered $1.7 billion in accounting fraud. After raising a red flag, he was fired. Woodford pushed his story into the public arena through the media and through filing reports with the Serious Fraud Office in London. News of the fraud caused a shake-up at the camera and medical devices manufacturer, eventually leading to guilty pleas from several executives and a new slate of corporate directors.

In his keynote address, Woodford will share experiences from his book—Exposure: Inside the Olympus Scandal: How I Went From CEO to Whistleblower—about how he confronted both the Japanese culture that prizes groupthink and shareholders who were more distressed by negative publicity surrounding the scandal than by the fraud.

Building on Woodford's keynote address, audit, legal, and governance experts will discuss lessons learned from the Olympus scandal and actions that boards can take to identify and prevent internal fraud, the roles of internal and external auditors, and the relevance of cross-cultural differences.

"Courage, high ethical standards, and a healthy level of skepticism are key traits NACD believes are essential in both the C-suite and the boardroom," said Ken Daly, president and CEO of NACD. "We salute Michael for exhibiting all of these qualities while in a high-pressure situation and look forward to hearing what lessons all leaders can take away from his harrowing experience."

To learn more and register for NACD's Board Leadership Conference, visit www.NACDonline.org/conference/.

About NACD

The National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) is the only membership organization focused exclusively on advancing exemplary board leadership. Based on more than 35 years of experience, NACD identifies, interprets, and provides insights and information that corporate board members rely upon to make sound strategic decisions, confidently confront complex business challenges, and enhance shareowner value. With more than 13,000 corporate director members, NACD provides world-class director education, director training, and proprietary research about leading boardroom and corporate governance practices to promote director professionalism and bolster investor confidence. Furthermore, to create more effective and efficient corporate boards, NACD provides independent board evaluations and custom-tailored in-boardroom education and training programs, as well as director-led conferences, forums, and peer-exchange learning opportunities to share ideas about current and emerging issues. Fostering collaboration among directors and governance stakeholders, NACD is shaping the future of board leadership. To learn more about NACD, visit www.NACDonline.org. To join, contact Kelly Dodd at kkdodd@NACDonline.org or 202-380-1891.

CONTACT: Media Contact: Henry Stoever Chief Marketing Officer 202-775-0509 hstoever@NACDonline.orgSource:National Association of Corporate Directors