By Claire Reilly

SYDNEY, NSW: Gary Paykel, one of the Directors of the Board of Fisher & Paykel, has agreed to defer his retirement for 12 months following two unexpected resignations on the company’s board.

According to a statement released to the Australian Securities Exchange by Fisher & Paykel Appliance Holdings Limited, “Simon Botherway gave notice in March of his intention to resign as a Director on 30 April 2011 to pursue other career interests.” Also in March, Philip Carmichael announced his resignation from the Haier Group and the F&P Board.

Following this news, Liang Haishan of the Haier Group was appointed a Director on 14 April 2011. He joins recently appointed directors including Mr Simon Botherway, Dr Keith Turner and Mr Bill Roest.

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According to the statement to the ASX, “the unforeseen departure of two Directors, in such a short time frame, means that Mr Paykel’s understanding of the Company’s operations, products and its key markets will provide an essential overlap of valuable experience and stability as the Board progresses with its Succession Plan.

 “As part of the Director Succession Plan to date, Mr Lindsay Gillanders retired from the Board in August 2010 and Mr Ralph Waters stepped down as Chairman and resigned from the Board in February 2011. Mr John Gilks is to retire at the 2011 Annual Shareholders Meeting in August and Mr Peter Lucas will retire in 2012.

“The Director Succession Plan is being carefully staged to ensure the Company has the right skill sets on the Board,” the statement reads.

Mr Paykel announced his intention to step down from the role of Chairman of the company on 26 November 2009, and his since held a position as a non-executive Director.