The former head of Pacific Brands, Sue Morphet, has become chair of lobby group Manufacturing Australia.
Morphet controversially cut 50% of Pacific Brands’ workforce, closing 10 local factors and moving manufacturing to China. She also presided over a significant share price fall for the company. When she took over the company was worth $1.1 billion, and left behind a net worth of $539 million.
Michele O’Neil, the national secretary of the Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union, criticised the appointment in Business Day, saying she was a surprised to see that a local organisation would appoint someone who had gutted thousands of local jobs.
However, Morphet said she wasn’t looking to shed local jobs and again defended her decision to sack 1850 workers at Pac Brands, saying that she did what she needed to do at the time.
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“It was tough at Pacific Brands. It was tough for everybody. But we were up against the wall and we had decisions that we needed to make to save our company, which we did,” she told ABC’s 7:30 program last night.
This article is adapted from one that first appeared on Women’s Agenda.