Harry van Dyk leaves CE to run Philips medical division

By Matthew Henry and James Wells

SYDNEY: After nine years as Philips Consumer Electronics general manager, Harry van Dyk has been appointed to a new role as vice president and managing director of Philips Medical Systems for Australia and New Zealand.

Van Dyk will continue as chief executive officer of Philips Australia which includes its consumer electronics business.

Replacing van Dyk, effective 1 June, is Philips Consumer Electronics national sales and marketing manager, Matt Moran.

“While my role will still involve overseeing all Philips businesses in Australia, I leave the day-to-day management of the consumer electronics business in the extremely capable hands of Matthew Moran,” said van Dyk.

In an exclusive interview with Current.com.au, van Dyk reflected on his achievements during his time in the consumer electronics business including his rationalisation of the company’s retail distribution.

“The most important achievements for me have been the simplification of our business and to that end, coming up with a retail strategy. At the time we implemented it, everyone said it was heresy and over time it has proved a solid strategy of working closely with a few partners where you have a mutual interest in how you do business together.

“Everyone talks about a strategic alliance, but what they really mean is that they want the best price. If you look at our major trading partners now, we are working way beyond that, it is about category management, how do we take new tech to the markets. And it is also about shared risk, it is something that the industry has not been particularly good at," he said.

Van Dyk will be remembered for ending trading with several retail buying groups including Vox and Retravision.

“We left Vox well before Vox left us, and by that I mean left us collectively. That was about the same time we left Retravision nationally which was in December 1997 – that one was the hardest one of all. We were told that we would not survive and that we could not live without Retravision.

“It became quite political in the industry and it wasn’t meant to be. Our businesses were going in different directions and we were looking to invest more product and turnover into fewer hands. The numeric cost of service made it a non sustainable business in independent land and I think if you look around now, the businesses growing best are those who have not stood still and left in those domains.

“I think in retrospect from the sort of company that we are, with innovations that we bring to the market, it made sense at the time to deliver the products to the right outlets.”

Philips now has a core retail distribution strategy which includes the Derni Group –Harvey Norman, Domayne and Joyce Mayne, The Good Guys, Bing Lee as well as Retravision WA and Myer.

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