By James Wells

EAST TAMAKI, NEW ZEALAND: Fisher & Paykel Appliances managing director and CEO, John Bongard, has announced a global restructure of the company.

The changes have resulted in a promotion of the Fisher & Paykel Australia general manager of sales and marketing, Mike Church, to chief operating officer (COO) in Australia.

In his new role, Church will control all business activities of the Australian market including sales, marketing and manufacturing.

“The business activities of various countries will now be viewed as stand alone businesses, however, in order to provide governance and consistency of approach and to promote best practice across these geographies, corporate functions will remain in place,” said a statement issued by the company this afternoon.

Other appointments include Mike Goadby to president of Fisher & Paykel North America and Malcolm Harris to chief operating officer of Fisher & Paykel in New Zealand.

According to Bongard, the international expansion of the company that has occurred over the last five years has changed the nature of the business.

“The fact that the company is now generating most of its income outside of New Zealand and is expanding its manufacturing base has called for a fresh approach,” Bongard said.

The USA, where the company has two production facilities, is now the largest revenue generator for the group.

“Australia and New Zealand continue to be very important markets and form the base for the company’s business. Longer term the growth in Europe, the United Kingdom and Ireland will become more important. The company can not afford to stand still. It must be equipped to react to competitive pressures," the statement said.

“Doing business around the world has been made easier through the use of communication technologies such as mobile phones and computers. Cheaper air travel and increased frequency of flights sees lots of people circling the globe. Many families and individuals have relocated around the world to assist in growing the business and developing the unique culture that makes the company special.

“Despite the fact that the world appears to be smaller, keeping track of the business across different time zones and cultures presents other difficulties. Knitting local customs and practices together with the way the company wants to do its business also creates challenges."