Sue Morphet, the controversial former chief executive of Pacific Brands who was appointed chairman of Manufacturing Australia last year, was recently appointed to the board of Chinese-owned Fisher & Paykel Appliances Holdings. Ms Morphet will take up her appointment immediately.
“The Board is delighted to announce Sue’s appointment as a director,” said Fisher & Paykel Appliances Holdings Chairman, Dr Keith Turner, in a statement.
“Sue’s commercial experience, strong track record and retail experience in Australia, our largest market, make her a valuable addition to the Board.”
Until August 2012 Ms. Morphet was CEO of Pacific Brands, where she worked for 17 years. Aside from her current role as Chairperson of Manufacturing Australia, the business coalition of Australia’s largest manufacturers, Ms Morphet also holds current roles as Director of National Tiles and Director of Merton Pastoral. She is also a member of the University of Melbourne Capital Campaign Committee, and a member of the Corporate Council of the European Australian Business Council.
According to the statement from Fisher & Paykel, Ms Morphet has extensive experience in retail, digital strategy, business transformation and brand development.
“In particular, Sue has a deep understanding of the Australian retail market and Australian consumers.”
Meanwhile a related article on National Business Review said Ms Morphet’s appointment may fuel the rumours that Fisher & Paykel may be looking to move its Auckland manufacturing operations offshore, an issue that surfaced in late 2012 when Chinese whiteware maker Haier took over the former publicly-listed company.
After the takeover bid was announced, Haier said the company’s wants to keep F&P’s “innovation capability” in New Zealand in the long term. However the company reserved the right to make changes after consulting Fisher & Paykel’s board.