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Southern Textiles names Richard Downing president

Forsyth, Ga. – Richard Downing has been named president of the newly formed top of the bed division of Leggett & Platt.

The division, which includes Southern Textiles top of the bed business based here and the down bedding products of Canadian-based Westex, previously had been part of Leggett & Platt’s Chicago-based Fashion Bed Group. "We will continue to use both names," said Dennis Park, group president, home furnishings components and consumer products group, to whom Downing reports.

A longtime fabrics and home textiles industry executive, Downing was most recently vp marketing for Leggett & Platt’s component business unit. He succeeds Bob O’Neill, who headed Southern Textiles and left the company earlier this year along with his son Rob. "We have a good track from the O’Neill’s and now we’ll focus together and work together" to enhance the strengths of both businesses, he said.

Added Park, "We saw an opportunity marrying Southern Textiles with Westex to expand the category." One particular strength is Westex’s relationship with Home Shopping Network in Canada that enables the company to do market research with consumers.

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