Fisher & Paykel board recruits controversial Aussie exec

Sue Morphet

Australian-based Sue Morphet has been appointed to the board of Chinese-owned Fisher & Paykel Appliances Holdings.

Companies Office records show the former chief executive of ASX-listed Pacific Brands was appointed on January 1 but the company announced the appointment today.

“The board is delighted to announce Sue’s appointment as a director," Fisher & Paykel Appliances Holdings chairman Dr Keith Turner says, in a statement. 

"Sue’s commercial experience, strong track record and retail experience in Australia, our largest market, make her a valuable addition."

In 2009, while chief executive of Pacific Brands, Ms Morphet came under pressure after her pay hiked from about $A680,000 to more than $A1.8 million, as the manufacturer of brands such as Berlei, Bonds and Jockey posted a big loss and slashed jobs across Australia as it shifted work to China.

She stepped down two years ago, after the company announced a loss of $A450.7 million.

Her appointment may spark speculation that Fisher & Paykel may be looking to move its Auckland manufacturing operations offshore, which was last an issue in late 2012 when Chinese whiteware maker Haier took over the former publicly-listed company.

In September 2012, after the takeover bid was announced, Haier said the company's long-term preference was to keep F&P's "innovation capability" in New Zealand.

However, the company made it clear the comments only related to the proposed offer and it reserved the right to make changes after consulting Fisher & Paykel's board.

At the time, that conditional promise did little to allay union fears of a Kiwi manufacturing shutdown.

Melbourne-based Ms Morphet is chairwoman of lobby group Manufacturing Australia, and a director of National Tiles and Merton Pastoral. 

Ms Morphet held a number of senior positions at Pacific Brands from 1996 to 2008, including group general manager, Bonds and general manager of Tontine. 

Fisher & Paykel's statement says Ms Morphet has extensive retail experience, has developed and driven digital strategy, led business transformations and successful brand development. 

"In particular, Sue has a deep understanding of the Australian retail market and Australian consumers," the statement says.

dwilliams@nbr.co.nz


Got a question about this story? Leave it in Comments & Questions below.

This article is tagged with the following keywords. Find out more about MyNBR Tags

NZ Market Snapshot

Forex

Sym Price Change
USD 0.6977 0.0000 0.00%
AUD 0.9169 0.0000 0.00%
EUR 0.6094 0.0000 0.00%
GBP 0.4775 0.0000 0.00%
HKD 5.4121 0.0000 0.00%
JPY 74.1560 0.0000 0.00%

Commods

Commodity Price Change Time
Gold Index 1292.7 26.930 2016-04-29T00:
Oil Brent 47.4 -0.400 2016-04-29T00:
Oil Nymex 45.9 -0.110 2016-04-29T00:
Silver Index 17.8 0.240 2016-04-29T00:

Indices

Symbol Open High Last %
NZX 50 6790.0 6822.1 6790.0 0.45%
NASDAQ 4805.8 4807.9 4805.3 -0.62%
DAX 10235.5 10252.1 10321.1 -2.73%
DJI 17813.1 17814.8 17830.8 -0.32%
FTSE 6322.4 6322.4 6322.4 -1.27%
HKSE 21215.2 21235.4 21388.0 -1.50%
NI225 17439.0 17572.3 17290.5 -3.61%