Arthur has been replaced by Darren Lehmann just 16 days before the first Test against England at Trent Bridge, with captain Michael Clarke also stepping down from his role as a selector.
Sutherland believes the timing is not important so long as the best structure is in place to allow Australia to succeed against their Ashes rivals. "The simple thing is that the performance of the team over recent months has not been at the standards we expected or desire," he said.
"Over recent weeks when we have had a close look at this we came to a conclusion that things were not improving. We could have let things be as they were, stay with the status quo, or we could make a change, and we didn't want to get to a stage where we look back on this Ashes series and think we could have done something about it.
"We have made a decision and there will be people who think the timing is wrong, but we are very confident that this is a decision taken in the interests of the Australian team. The timing is far from ideal but we didn't feel we could sit back and hope the matter would change without addressing issues critical to a high-performing team culture."
Australia have already made headlines for the wrong reasons so far this summer with batsman David Warner banned until the first Test against England after a public spat in a Birmingham bar with Joe Root.
That was followed by elimination from the Champions Trophy without a win to their name and now the tour appears to be continuing on a path of uncertainty with the decision to relieve Arthur of his duties.
Sutherland placed on record his thanks for South African Arthur and his belief that, in Lehmann, they have appointed the right man to oversee immediate improvement.
"I would like to acknowledge Mickey Arthur and his commitment and dedication to the task and his passion for the job," Sutherland said. "He is a good man and tried his upmost to do a good job and, unfortunately, at the end of the day he hasn't quite done that.
"Darren Lehmann is, to us, the obvious choice to come in and replace Mickey. He is very highly regarded in cricket and within the Australian team. His performances recently as coach of Queensland and the Brisbane Heat have seen him win titles in all three formats of the game."