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CENTER VALLEY, Pa., May 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Olympus Corporation of the Americas (OCA) today announced that F. Mark Gumz, President and Chief Executive Officer, will retire from the company effective May 31. Karl Watanabe, current OCA Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, will be promoted to President – Corporate, OCA. In this new role, Watanabe will report to Michael C. Woodford, Olympus Corporation President and Chief Operating Officer, who will become the Chief Executive of OCA in addition to his role as Chairman.  

"I've always admired individuals who know when it's time to move on. This is the right time for me.  Over the last few months, we've put in place new leadership in our businesses. We have made progress but there is more work to do and the new leadership is best positioned to execute the plans," Gumz stated. "As rewarding as I've found my nearly 20 years at Olympus, which represents half of my career, there are still some things I want to do in my life. I'm announcing my decision now so that I can pursue those possibilities."

Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, Chairman and CEO of Olympus Corporation, Tokyo, the parent company of OCA, said, "Under Mark's strong leadership, the company has developed and grown, serving the needs of our customers not only in the U.S. market, but also those in Canada and the important and rapidly developing markets in Latin America. I would like to publicly express my sincere thanks to Mark, on behalf of myself and my Board colleagues, for his considerable contribution to Olympus over the years."  

In addition to his role as CEO, to which he was appointed on April 1, 2008, Gumz is President and Chief Operating Officer of Olympus America Inc., to which he was appointed on January 1, 2000. In 2008 he was named an Executive Officer of Olympus Corporation, the first American to achieve this distinction, and serves in the Global Management Office for the parent company. He was m

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