By Claire Reilly
The Australian subsidiaries of Electrolux are set to undergo a restructure that will see major changes in personnel, including the departure of Electrolux Small Appliances managing director John Mahar, and a total of 24 staff redundancies.
As part of the restructure, elements of the Electrolux Small Appliances Australia business will be joined with Electrolux Home Products, including operations such as account management, field sales and customer service. Along with the 24 staff redundancies, four current vacant positions at Electrolux Small Appliances will go unfilled (resulting in a total loss of 28 positions) while the Electrolux Small Appliances head office in Melbourne will be closed.
The restructuring process is set to begin immediately and conclude in the fourth quarter of calendar year 2013, according to the company, with the new-look small appliances business set to comprise a total of 31 positions.
Speaking about the redundancies involved with the restructure, Electrolux Small Appliances president for Asia Pacific, Claus Andersen, said the loss of staff was regrettable.
“However, Electrolux believes it necessary in order to become more efficient and enable investments to increase sales and market shares,” he said.
“In Australia, we see clear synergies in both the ‘front end’ to increase account coverage and in the ‘back end’ in accounting, finance, IT and customer care.”
“The new Small Appliances operations will be better equipped to serve customers in a coordinated way and increase the number of customers receiving direct sales support.
“Working as One Electrolux within the new business model will allow Small Appliances to reduce costs and gain significant efficiencies by sharing resources and processes with the Australian operations of Electrolux Major Appliances.” (Andersen’s caps on ‘One Electrolux’).
Claus Anderson thanked John Mahar and his staff “for their contributions, loyalty and commitment to Electrolux over many years”.
The company has also confirmed that “all employees who have been made redundant with the Melbourne office closure will receive severance packages in line with company policy and statutory liabilities [and] they will also be offered outplacement support”.
Along with the loss of staff, the Electrolux restructure will also result in new appointments, with former national sales manager for Electrolux Major Appliances in Australia, Derek Haley, taking on the role of general manager, Small Appliances Australia.
According to a statement from Electrolux, certain elements of the small and major appliances businesses will be combined.
The new business model involves Small Appliances sharing with the Australian operations of Major Appliances key account management and field sales, accounting, finance, IT and customer care functions. To assist this, head office of the new Small Appliances operations will move into the existing Sydney head office premises occupied by Major Appliances.
Sales, Finance, Technical Support and Call Centre functions for Small Appliances will be performed by dedicated resources in the current Major Appliances teams under a service level agreement. Service and operations will remain in Clayton, Victoria but report into Major Appliances.
Marketing and product functions for Australia and New Zealand will be retained within the Small Appliances business. New Zealand Sales and Operations are unaffected.