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Toshiba in turmoil

Toshiba board member quits in protest as hedge fund managers join

New slate of directors to discuss privatization among strategy options

Mariko Watahiki, an outside director at Toshiba, opposed board nominees representing activist hedge funds because she feared the body would be seen as favoring a few big shareholders. (Photo by Manami Yamada)

TOKYO -- A Toshiba board member resigned on Tuesday shortly after shareholders approved the appointments of hedge fund members to the board in the day's annual general meeting, underscoring the unease stakeholders feel toward a growing influence of activist shareholders over Japan's iconic company.

Mariko Watahiki, former chief judge of the Nagoya High Court, has tendered her resignation, according to sources. The move comes after shareholders approved all 13 candidates for the board of directors, including two nominated by activist shareholders, as the Japanese conglomerate tries to improve ties with its largest stakeholders and become a more profitable and faster-growing company.

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