By James Wells

SYDNEY: A director of Panasonic Australia, Roland Tudor, this afternoon took early retirement after 12 years with the company and in his parting words to staff members recommended that they accept inevitable change in the consumer electronics industry.

In his time at Panasonic, Tudor has held a number of senior leadership roles across the company’s support divisions, encompassing areas from IT to Finance and Human Resources. His roles have included general manager, finance and administration; director – corporate services; and most recently, director – customer services, in which he was responsible for technical services, the customer call centre, product refurbishment and spare parts.

Tudor has served under four managing directors of Panasonic Australia – Mr Edward Hughes, Mr Max Kitani, Mr Ogata and Mr Motagami and current managing director, Mr Toshiro Kisaka.

Tudor told that he has decided to take early retirement after recently undergoing open heart surgery.

“Since coming back from [heart surgery] and after some consideration, I decided it is probably the best move to take things a bit easier.

"I’ve had a wide variety of roles within Panasonic, so I have covered most of the support areas of the company. I have been very pleased with what I consider, the challenges I have been given. With most of my roles, I have been asked to take them by senior management without direct experience in those areas.

“When I started out, the trend was to spend a longer time with a fewer number of employees. Now it is normal practice to be more mobile and to move from role to role. I think it is a sign of what has to happen in business these days.

“I have experienced change in roles throughout my career with Panasonic, seen changes within the industry and business. When I address the staff later today, I will tell them they have to accept and embrace change – it is inevitable – and I will be having a change in my lifestyle at 5.00pm today.

“I have seen a lot of people at all levels of the company in 12 years and there are still a number of people here today that were here when I started including the long serving national sales operations manager – Steve Sutherland, who is based in Queensland. Anyone in this kind of role, will always mention the people. You meet a lot of good people both inside and outside the company and it is no exception here."

Tudor said that Panasonic has changed considerably since he joined the company and it has taken a strong turn towards efficiency under the leadership of its current management.

“When I first joined, Panasonic was a company that was experiencing difficulty because it had a regional structure. There was a lot of conflict internally in terms of those geographical areas operating independently.

“Since then we have centralised the support function which has benefited us and our customers by getting stock moving quicker. This has definitely been the case under our current managing director Mr Kisaka who is focused on managing stock in an efficient way which is a dramatic change for the better.”

A statement from Panasonic Australia, said Tudor has always had a strong focus on Panasonic’s service to the customer and has made a significant contribution to the company.

“Panasonic wishes him well for the future,” the statement said.