The sudden departure of the well-liked sales director of Electrolux Home Products, Michael Doyle, has surprised many of Australia’s top appliance retailers, including Narta’s Kay Spencer and Harvey Norman’s David Ackery.

Harvey Norman executive director, David Ackery, told Appliance Retailer over a phone call this morning: “From Harvey Norman’s point of view a lot of franchises are very close to Michael and he has built that rapport over a number of years going back to his days with LG Electronics and Hitachi. He has always done the right thing by the industry and I have never heard a derogatory comment about him.”

Narta chairman, Kay Spencer, provided this statement recognising Doyle’s service to the industry: “Michael has dedicated his working career to the Electrical Industry, commencing with a junior regional role within Sharp Corporation over 25 years ago, of recent times occupying some very senior roles within the supplier community and contributing to the growth of those companies and embracing the industry culture. I recognise and thank him for his and wish him nothing but the very best for his future,” Spencer said.

Betta Stores CEO Graeme Cunningham who has worked alongside Doyle as a colleague as well as a supplier to the retailer organisation also provided supportive comments.

“Michael’s career has been dedicated to our industry. His knowledge and understanding of his customer’s businesses, and culture, is something few people have, and it has contributed greatly to his success. I have worked with him for over 20 years in companies such as Sharp and LG as well as being a customer for the last 10 years. I hope he decides to stay in our industry.”

Bing Lee general manager, Peter Harris provided a statement to Appliance Retailer regarding Michael Doyle’s departure this morning.

“Electrolux is a very significant partner for Bing Lee and obviously a major player in the Australian market. During Michael’s time at Electrolux, Bing Lee continued to grow and develop together on the strong foundations that has been in place with our two business for many, many years. This industry is results driven but strong relations play a significant part in developing mutually beneficial business plans and we have had a strong relationship with Michael and the wider Electrolux team.”

The proprietor of Adelaide-based appliance retailer, Spartan Electrical, Chris Tsoutouras (pictured left with brother Con, right), has told Appliance Retailer they were blindsided by the sudden departure.

“This is obviously a change we weren’t expecting from EHP. Doylie is a close friend and I believe he was doing an excellent job at EHP.

“With such a stable of brands and so many moving parts, I felt that Michael had simplified certain processes for quicker decision making, made sure each brand had the right team behind it and was always looking forward for positive change. We will absolutely miss having him in the role, he’s truly one of those guys who gives his all and genuinely looks out for the retailer, the end customer, and his people,” Tsoutouras said.

Doyle has been actively involved in the recent transformation of Electrolux and is widely regarded as a sales professional with strong relationships in the appliance industry.