Toshiba nominates new CEO in bid to put accounting scandal behind it

Toshiba Corp's incoming president and chief executive Satoshi Tsunakawa at a news conference at the company headquarters in Tokyo, on May 6, 2016.
Toshiba Corp's incoming president and chief executive Satoshi Tsunakawa at a news conference at the company headquarters in Tokyo, on May 6, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japan's Toshiba Corp said it had nominated Satoshi Tsunakawa, a former head of its medical equipment division, to be its next chief executive officer - a move that it hopes will draw a line under a damaging accounting scandal.

Sixty-year-old Mr Tsunakawa, who was not embroiled in the scandal, is credited with having increased earnings at the medical equipment unit. He is currently a senior executive vice-president.

A US$1.3 billion (S$1.76 billion) book-keeping scandal last year has pushed Toshiba to streamline its businesses, announce plans for 14,000 jobs cuts and the sale of the medical unit to Canon Inc for US$5.9 billion.

Last month, it also took a US$2.3 billion writedown on US nuclear unit Westinghouse in a much-anticipated move to address lingering doubts over its accounting practices.

Mr Tsunakawa's appointment will be formally decided after a shareholders' meeting in late June.

Current CEO Masashi Muromachi took the helm last July when his predecessor and a slew of other senior executives resigned for their roles in the scandal, but had not planned on doing the job long term. He will become a special adviser.

Senior executive vice-president Shigenori Shiga was nominated to become chairman.