So Horie, the charismatic leader of Livedoor, has been arrested. Then he resigned. Someone else has taken his place. You might assume the ride’s basically over for him, and I think that’s probably going to prove to be the case for the short term.
CrissCross also says Horie has offered his resignation, though Livedoor hasn’t accepted it, but Mainichi counters with the news that Livedoor’s already named a successor (who’s already slagging Horie!).
In an uncharacteristic response (For a Japanese politician) Prime Minister Koizumi says he’ll accept responsibility for backing Horie. FujiTV, which bought 12% of Livedoor to settle Livedoor’s takeover attempt, is dumping stock in apparent breach of contract. The Tokyo Stock Exchange has limited Livedoor trading to a mere hour and a half to prevent it from ‘disrupting’ the otherwise enjoyable fall of Japanese tech stocks.
Koizumi’s not the only person who’s distancing himself from Horie. Several politicians are suddenly finding their previous Horie-backing something they’d like to forget.
Joi Ito has some interesting things to say about the Livedoor saga: “My wise attorney in Japan always tells me to try to stay out of the press. There is an old saying in Japan that the press always get to use you twice. They write about you to push you up and they write about you to tear you down. This is clearly the case with Horie.”
He goes on to offer four pieces of advice:
1) Manage media exposure
2) Don’t believe the hype
3) Don’t say or do ANYTHING that might be used to tear you down
4) Don’t piss people off for fun
Horie’s rocketship ride to the top made him a lot of enemies, and they’re falling over themselves to knock him off his lofty perch now. AMPM convenience stores have gone so far as to stop selling his energy drink. “We can’t put products on our shelves that are connected to someone who has been arrested,” a company representative said. (Mainichi)
Business is still continuing as usual at Livedoor. Yahoo, who you might consider a Livedoor competitor, still shows the cutest little Livedoor Credit (one of many popular, legal loan-sharks in Japan) ads on Yahoo Auctions:
Livedoor’s site still offers the drink for sale, though I suggest some changes to the banner: