Lecture 2013

The Contrarian Prize lecture provides a platform to the winner of the prize to speak about a topic of their choice that highlights the principles of independence, courage and sacrifice.

This is a public lecture and aims to encourage the audience to think about the values we expect our leaders in British public life to espouse and whether the behaviours that they engage in are concomitant with these ideals.  The lecture will be delivered before the deadline for nominations for the prize to encourage people to put forward suitable individuals for this accolade. 

Cass Business SchoolThe Contrarian Prize lecture was held in conjunction with Cass Business School in London on Wednesday 20 November and was given by the inaugural winner, Michael Woodford, the former CEO of Olympus who exposed $1.7 billion fraud at the electronics giant and was sacked for doing so.

Michael Woodford lectureHow do we achieve a more moral Capitalism?

The Contrarian Prize: Inaugural Lecture

An evening with Michael Woodford - the first CEO in history to become a whistleblower of his own corporation

Wednesday 20th November 2013, 6pm- 8.45pm

As the inaugural winner of the Contrarian Prize, Michael Woodford - the former president and CEO of Olympus who exposed a $1.7 billion fraud and was sacked for doing so - delivered the first Contrarian Prize annual lecture.
His story is extraordinary. Having discovered an accounting scandal on a massive scale, Woodford finds that nobody is telling him the truth. Even the chairman and the Head of Compliance are suspected of being in on it. He faces a terrible dilemma that could put his and his family's lives at risk.  Who can he trust?

His decision to speak out leads to a crash in the share price, the resignation of the entire board and him having to be protected by armed police. This story will become a major motion picture, but is it so far removed from what may be happening elsewhere? In today's business climate, are the risks of this sort of fraud more likely? How can regulation work when captains of industry cannot be trusted? How much of this is going on right now? What would you do in Mr Woodford’s position?

This lecture was followed by a drinks reception at which Michael Woodford signed copies of this bestselling book “Exposure”.

View the photo gallery here