Fisher & Paykel board recruits controversial Aussie exec

Sue Morphet

Free audio stream, including stories that are padlocked on our site. Listen on any device, anywhere. Updated twice daily. The audio stream takes several seconds to start on Android devices.

Launch Radio player

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


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

NZ Market Snapshot

Forex

Sym Price Change
USD 0.7567 0.0000 0.00%
AUD 0.9753 0.0000 0.00%
EUR 0.6945 0.0000 0.00%
GBP 0.5084 0.0000 0.00%
HKD 5.8650 0.0000 0.00%
JPY 90.0730 0.0000 0.00%

Commods

Commodity Price Change Time
Gold Index 1198.2 -6.000 2015-03-27T00:
Oil Brent 56.4 2.710 2015-03-27T00:
Oil Nymex 48.9 -2.560 2015-03-27T00:
Silver Index 17.1 -0.071 2015-03-27T00:

Indices

Symbol Open High Last %
NZX 50 5833.2 5854.2 5833.2 0.36%
NASDAQ 4863.7 4899.3 4863.4 0.57%
DAX 11920.2 11954.1 11843.7 0.21%
DJI 17673.6 17729.1 17678.2 0.19%
FTSE 6895.3 6910.6 6895.3 -0.58%
HKSE 24541.4 24549.9 24497.1 -0.04%
NI225 19374.7 19590.0 19471.1 -0.95%