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I wrote about Max a few months after his abduction and recently received an anonymous letter in a brown envelope from Japan.
Enclosed with the letter was a recent photo of Kawabata, who is now using the name Chie Takayanagi. Morness confirmed that the photo is his ex-wife.
Her photo was on an internal communication from Novo Nordisk Japan in 2018 announcing her appointment as vice-president of human resources. The company is a subsidiary of a Danish-based pharmaceutical company, which has 43,100 employees globally and 1,050 in Japan.
“Many of Novo Nordisk employees have big concerns about having a legally doubtful person as HR head of the company and doubt the board of director decision-making process and their accountability,” the letter says. “It is known in Japanese pharmaceutical industry because Chie was fired (by) Biogen and Merck for this family issue.”
Morness said he was aware that his ex-wife had worked at Biogen, but not Merck. He also didn’t know that she had left Biogen.
The letter goes on to say, “As long as Chie Kawabata is present, Novo Nordisk will never win trust. They continue losing in brand reputation.”
It’s fair to conclude that the anonymous letter was written by a disgruntled employee, possibly even one who was passed over for the appointment.
While it raises the question of brand reputations being tarnished by individual employees, the more interesting questions are about the complicated heart-and-soul issues of globalization. How should multinational companies operate?