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Pillowtex taps Sara Lee executive

Pillowtex Corp. announced last week the appointment of Michael Gannaway as president of the company.

Effective Oct. 1, he replaces Tony Williams, who resigned last week to pursue other interests.

Gannaway is currently the president and ceo of customer business teams and mega-brand marketing for Sara Lee Corp., for whom he worked for the last 10 years. He led various teams that developed and implemented growth strategies for the Hanes, Bali, Champion, Carters, Just My Size and Polo Ralph Lauren underwear brand and also directed the launch of the Wonderbra and Barely There intimate apparel lines. He has also held the positions of president of mass brands for Sara Lee Underwear; president of department store brands for Sara Lee Underwear; and vp and general manager for the department store brands for Bali and Wonderbra.

As new president of Pillowtex, Gannaway will be responsible for the major mill's sales, marketing and merchandising efforts with focus to include brand vitality and relevance, implementing product innovation, building strategic alignment with key retail partners and strengthening communication and business processes to ensure internal alignment with strategic development and implementation.

His office will be located in the company's corporate offices here.

"Mike is a high-energy, strategic leader who has an accomplished track record of managing and understanding multi-functional organizations," said David Perdue, chairman and ceo, and to whom Gannaway will report. "His branding expertise and outstanding sales and marketing skills are well known in textile and apparel circles, and we are fortunate to have him join the Pillowtex team."

Perdue went on to cite Gannaway's focus on product innovation and ability to develop channel strategies with key department stores.

Said Gannaway, "Cannon, Fieldcrest, Royal Velvet and Charisma are brands that consumers recognize, trust and seek out to satisfy their appetite for home fashion. In addition to these powerful brands, Pillowtex has strong distribution through important retail channels and the proven ability to move quality products from design to the retail floor with consistent service. With the restructuring of its financial position, I believe the company is now poised to strengthen its market position by leveraging the power of its brands."

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