By James Wells

MELBOURNE: Pioneer Electronics Australia managing director, Ken Barelli will leave his role at the end of the Japanese financial year – 31 March 2007, after 31 years with the company which has grown to record the best results of any subsidiary within the Japanese consumer electronics manufacturer.

A statement from Pioneer Electronics Australia this afternoon confirmed Barelli’s departure and announced that he will be replaced on 1 April 2007 by Yasuo Sakuma, who joined the company in August this year. Prior to the changeover, Barelli will remain as managing director and will be fully responsible for the day to day business activities of Pioneer Electronics Australia.

"Considering the significant business challenges faced by Pioneer Electronics worldwide, there have been changes in leadership in Pioneer Japan in an effort to restart the business. Management changes have taken place in many Pioneer subsidiaries globally and this includes Australia where Ken Barelli will be replaced as managing director on April 1 next year,” the statement said.

The statement also said that during his recent months of preparation for his new role, Mr Sakuma has acknowledged the innovative initiatives undertaken by Pioneer Australia under the leadership of Mr Barelli.

“Pioneer Australia is well known for its exciting, unique programs, which I know are responsible for its high degree of success. I believe the company is poised to maintain its success well into the future,” Sakuma said.

Barelli began working at Pioneer Electronics Australia in 1975 and was appointed managing director in 1995. Under his stewardship, Pioneer Electronics Australia has grown to record the best results of any Pioneer subsidiary.

Barelli said he attributes this level of success to a complete team performance combined with ground breaking marketing concepts such as The Complete Plasma Experience, which includes free installation, delivery, demonstration and five year warranty for Pioneer plasma screens.

“While I have mixed emotions about moving from the company for which I have worked for over 31 years, I know I am leaving on a high and that Pioneer Australia will continue its successful path. We have always worked hard to make sure we have a point of difference and this thinking is integrated into the DNA of Pioneer, no matter who is at the helm,” Barelli said.