Japanese camera maker Olympus said it had demoted Michael Woodford, its British president and chief executive, after just six months, over a series of management rows.
The camera and precision instruments company said Mr Woodford had "largely diverted" from the rest of the management team and that the rift was causing decision-making problems.
Its board of directors met and unanimously demoted Mr Woodford to director, the company said. It has appointed Chairman Tsuyoshi Kikukawa to replace him.
Mr Woodford was among a handful of foreigners leading major Japanese companies. His appointment came amid a push by Olympus to make itself more globally competitive.
He did not attend the board meeting.