By Patrick Avenell

The Olympus Corporation is now embroiled in a morale and cash sapping public war of words with its former CEO and president, Michael Woodford — the first Briton to run the imaging and medical equipment manufacturer.

In a devastating week for the 92-year-old company, it has sacked its chief executive, been accused of negligent mergers and acquisitions procedures and shed around $3 billion in value on the Japanese stock market.

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11 October 2011: CEO Michael Woodford writes to the chairman of the Olympus board Tsuyoshi (Tom) Kikukawa, calling on him to resign over the acquisition of medical equipment brand Gyrus. Woodford also called on group president Hisashi Mori to resign.

“In putting the company first, the honourable way forward would be for you and Mori-san to face the consequences of what has taken place, which is a shameful saga by any stretch of the imagination,” wrote Woodford. “It is clear that the current situation is now untenable and to move forward positively the necessary course of action is for you both to tender your resignations from the Board.”

You can read the full letter on the New York Times website here.

14 October 2011: The Olympus board responds to this letter by sacking Woodford.

"We hoped that he could do things that would be difficult for a Japanese executive to do, but he was not able to understand that we needed to reflect the management style we have built up since the company was established 92 years ago, as well as Japanese culture," said Kikukawa.

17 October 2011: Olympus suffers an horrific day on the Nikkei, shedding 24 per cent of its value, for a two day loss of 37 per cent.

18 October 2011: Woodford tells The Washington Post that his investigations into questionable practises surrounding Olympus’ $2 billion acquisition of Gyrus has been going on “since July”, and alleges that Olympus paid “advising fees” of US $687 million to “unknown recipients in the Cayman Islands”.