"We thought we shouldn't tell a grownup what to do."
From fiscal 2010 to fiscal 2015, Fuji Xerox sales subsidiaries in New Zealand and Australia inflated income from office equipment leases. A subsequent restatement of past earnings resulted in a cumulative loss of 37.5 billion yen ($333 million).
Komori also blamed an incentive program that granted bonuses to top managers in New Zealand.
"Something that damages the trust in the company, something that should not have happened, did happen," he said. "We feel responsible as well."
Fuji Xerox President Hiroshi Kurihara stays on, but six other top executives have resigned over the scandal. Fujifilm has installed seven managers at the unit, including Komori himself, who will be chairman. "We will thoroughly re-educate [the unit] on governance," he promised.
Fujifilm executives will oversee technical and accounting matters, but "we won't hamper the strength of Fuji Xerox," Komori said.
Sense of autonomy
Fuji Xerox generates nearly half of Fujifilm's group sales, and about 40% of operating profit. It has had a strong sense of autonomy within the group. The parent had run it with a light hand, supplying few managers and entrusting it with decisions on detailed matters.