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Mitsubishi defends executive departures

Executive decision: MMAL vice-president for customer and brand Paul Unerkov said that the timing was right for the departure of two senior executives.

Veteran MMAL executives told “it was time to go and do something else”

Mitsubishi logo22 Jan 2013

MITSUBISHI says the decision not to replace two senior Australian executives who left late last year is the result of the company restructuring after moving from three decades as a local manufacturer to a full-line importer.

In November, Mitsubishi Motors Australia Ltd vice-president of sales Anthony Casey left after more than 20 years with the company, followed a few weeks later by vice-president of corporate strategy and parts and accessories Paul Stevenson – another two-decade veteran.

MMAL vice-president for customer and brand Paul Unerkov told GoAuto this week that the “timing was right” for their departure.

“We’ve had a couple of VPs who have left, but they had been there for 20-odd years and it was time for them to go and do something else, and the timing was right,” Mr Unerkov said.

“We’ve had a pretty tough time when you look at it.

“When (MMAL CEO Mutsuhiro) Oshikiri-san first came to Australia, he said he wanted to empower the regions a little bit more.

“So we are putting people in, and advertising for technical people, service-related people, and that sort of thing.

“We’re bolstering our regions a little bit more, but that’s also to work with the dealers to ensure they’re maximising their sales and looking after their customers.

“From head office, we’re trying to cut some of the bureaucracy to get things done quicker, to get things resolved earlier in the process. That’s all that’s really happened.

“We’re looking at it to maximise our sales, to maximise our profit, and to maximise our dealer sales … refining how we do things.

“We were a manufacturer for a long time, so it will take a little bit of time. We’re now a sales distributor.”

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