Shock retirement of Pana veteran, announced

Steve Rust is to depart from his role as Managing Director of Panasonic Australia, it was revealed today. 

Rust leave the company at the end of March,and will be replaced by Paul Reid, currently MD of Panasonic’s Nordic Region covering Norway, Finland, Denmark and Sweden. 

He has worked at the giant for eight years, as MD of Panasonic since March 2007 responsible for consumer and B2B, and served as Deputy MD for a year prior. 

He joined the Japanese Company from Ingram Micro where he served as CEO for Australia and New Zealand. 

Rust, a former senior Apple and Toshiba executive, said that he will not take on any other executive roles but will serve on several boards and act as an advisor to industry bodies.

During his time at Panasonic, Rust has seen the company transition from being mainly an appliance and TV brand to today be a major B2B player, selling communication and commercial display solutions. 

He has also introduced health care products and has significantly expanded the company’s air conditioning business.

He also holds Non Executive Directorship at ANZRP, TV & IT recycling management company, which he helped establish in 2012, and has been Non Executive Director at Quatro Group boutique consultancy, for over 20 years. 

Rust said: “I am sad to be leaving a first class team at Panasonic. Relationships forged over the past eight years with staff and business partners have been enriching. However, I am now looking forward to new experiences, where I can bring my capabilities to focus on my particular areas of interest. 

“I enjoy challenge and change. My next focus will be opportunities that expand my board experience, and in projects associated with company restructure and revitalisation.” 

Also a company veteran, his successor Paul Reid was Director of Panasonic Australia’s consumer electronics division from 2004-11, and will relocate back to OZ, to commence his new post in April. 

“Paul Reid is well-respected within Panasonic and the consumer electronics industry. He will provide strong leadership and continuity for the local company. I wish him every success,” said Rust. 

Rust also spearheaded the company’s expansion from traditional to digital marketing, developing a powerful sales and marketing team. 

Significant new ground has been broken by the company during his tenure including: the promotion of plasma sales to the highest market share outside Japan,  the establishment of the LUMIX camera brand; creating the ruggedised computing market with Toughbook. 
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