The former CEO of Japan's Olympus Corp is dropping his bid to retake control of the troubled company because of lack of support from Japanese institutional investors, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Michael Woodford will announce his decision to give up a proxy battle with management on Friday, the report said, citing an unidentified aide.

Woodford was fired as chief executive in October and blew the whistle on a $1.7 billion accounting scandal at the Japanese maker of medical devices and cameras. He faced long odds to win back his job and unseat existing managers, though several large foreign shareholders supported his return.

The failure of even a single Japanese institutional investor to voice active concern about gross malfeasance at Olympus was utterly dispiriting, Woodford said in a written statement provided by an aide, according to the report.

Woodford was not immediately available for comment on the report.

(Reporting by David Henry and Paritosh Bansal in New York.)