Quantum has sacked its Australia-New Zealand country manager, Paul Kruss, and recalled the management responsibilities for the local office back to regional headquarters in Singapore. Quantum's decision is in reaction to the crisis which has ravaged the Australian low-end hard disk drive market and follows hot on the heels of arch-rival Seagate Technology's decision in March to control its Australian subsidiary from Singapore.
Speaking to ARN last week, Kruss admitted that the ultra-competitive low-end hard drive market needs a drastic overhaul before the key vendor players are driven out of the business.
"The only way the industry is going to be able to meet the demands for price and product is to operate with very lean infrastructure. While we were doing quite well in terms of the company's goal of moving towards more high-end product, the decision to eliminate my position is clearly part of worldwide restructuring."
Quantum hard drives are distributed in Australia by Tech Pacific and Electronic Resources. ERA executive director Robert Lee said that he was unconcerned by the change in Quantum's arrangements, and that, by dealing direct with Singapore, he expects a quicker response to enquiries and to be more directly linked to Quantum in the region.
Quantum's new "South Asia Pacific region", which includes Australia, New Zealand, the ASEAN countries, Singapore and India will come under the stewardship of regional manager KS Neo.
In a media alert issued by Quantum Asia Pacific marketing director David Rawcliffe, the company confirmed that it had no intention to completely close its entire Australian operations.
The most positive spin that Rawcliffe could put on the decision was that by tying the local office more closely to the regional headquarters in Singapore, it can be more responsive to the worldwide position of the hard disk drive market. The South Asia Pacific sector represents about 35 per cent of Quantum's business in the Asia-Pacific region. The Australian portion was not available.