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Fiber World

Wellman Reorganizes Chemical-Based Businesses

Fort Mill., S.C.-based Wellman Inc. has announced it will combine its polyester fiber and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) resin segments into one business unit with functional reporting lines. According to the company, the two segments have many related functions, and the reorganization will allow it to maximize its operating performance and eliminate duplicate costs.

Under the new structure, Steve Ates will serve as vice president of sales and marketing; Mark Ruday as vice president of business operations; and Ian Shaw as vice president of manufacturing and research and development. Joe Tucker will have responsibility for raw material procurement and strategic development; and David Styka will serve as controller and chief accounting officer, replacing Ruday in that role.

“The structure that we just announced is appropriate for our ongoing US operations,” said Thomas M. Duff, chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO. “It will allow us to focus more on our customers and operate in a more efficient manner, both of which are expected to improve our operating performance.” Duff added that the company continues to explore strategic alternatives for its European operations and other non-core businesses.

Wellman previously announced it would restructure its US fiber operations (See “Wellman Announces Restructuring Plans,” www. TextileWorld.com  October 3, 2006). Under that plan, the company has consolidated all US fiber production in one location, at its Darlington, S.C.-based Palmetto plant. Still pending are the sale of its Material Recycling Division and production for its specialty coarse-denier Wellstrand® fiber, according to Michael Bermish, investor relations officer. Concurrently with the restructuring, Wellman also has licensed its EcoSpun® brand name to Foss Manufacturing Co. LLC, Hampton, N.H., which now markets its recycled PET yarn under that brand.

March/April 2007