Vale: Jim Woodward

Whitegoods industry icon.

Jim Woodward, icon of the Australian whitegoods industry, pioneer and entrepreneur, passed away on 13 April, 2017. He will be remembered by many as the founder of Omega Appliances in 1981 and the person responsible for the introduction of the Smeg brand to Australia. He decided to leave the company in 2003 and Andrew Cronin then took over as managing director.

Those who knew Jim – and knew him best – will say he was a true visionary and unique individual with many outstanding traits – generosity of spirit, charitable, of huge intellect, loyal, uncompromising, a high achiever and one of the most admirable human beings to walk this planet.

There are many other words to describe Jim Woodward – he was flamboyant, charming, and an excellent salesman – but above all he was a husband, father, devoted friend and mentor who will be sorely missed.

Jim’s funeral will be held on Wednesday 26 April at 2:15pm at Palm Chapel, Macquarie Park Crematorium in North Ryde, NSW. The funeral will be followed by a wake with details to be confirmed.

Industry leaders paid tribute to Jim with the following comments:

NARTA executive chairman, Kay Spencer – “Jim was a visionary. He really was the pioneer in making the Australian industry become one of the premium and high end consumer markets in the world and it was his forethought in merchandising and display as well as brand aspiration that really lifted the market immensely. And in terms of his personality and style – you never died wondering. On behalf of NARTA, our thoughts are with his family.”

John ‘Herman’ Winning – “He was an industry legend who everyone loved and will be sorely missed.”

John ‘Woody’ Winning – “His passing is very sad and came too early, he was a great man and will be missed. We did a hell of a lot of business with him and he would have a fair amount of responsibility for the growth and success of our business. He always believed in us, sometimes more than we believed in ourselves. He was one of the strongest, if not the strongest, business relationships we had, and we had an amazing mutually beneficial business relationship that spanned more than 30 years.”

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