Originally written and published by Joshua Allsopp at opi.net
Fuji Xerox NZ Appoints New MD amid Scandal
Fuji Xerox New Zealand has caused another stir after appointing a former ministry chief as Managing Director.
Peter Thomas (pictured) has been COO since 2015 and takes over just as the company is in the throes of an accounting scandal.
He replaces Gavin Pollard who left after NZ$480 million (US$347 million) of irregularities were found in the group’s accounts.
Controversially, Thomas previously held the position of Deputy Chief Executive of Corporate Services for the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE). This has led some – including leader of the NZ First party Winston Peters – to question whether there was a conflict of interest regarding his role.
MBIE, which is responsible for handling contracts between New Zealand’s government agencies and office supplies companies, awarded Fuji Xerox multimillion dollar contracts two months after Thomas joined the company.
However, MBIE has noted that Thomas had no role in the process or decision-making and left shortly after the deal was decided.
At the moment, Fuji Xerox is “voluntarily suspended” from pitching for new contracts while it is being investigated over the alleged accounting malpractice.
Its parent company is currently taking legal action against some former executives of the New Zealand subsidiary who it believes were involved in the scandal.
Separately, the New Zealand Commerce Commission has ordered the MBIE to hand over documents regarding the effect of competition in the country’s office supplies market.