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Atkins out, Kelbley to retire from Springs

Don Hogsett -- Home Textiles Today, April 30, 2001

FORT MILL, SC — With plans well advanced to take Springs Industries private, Jeffrey Atkins, executive vp and cfo, said he will resign from the major mill early this summer.

At the same time, Stephen Kelbley will retire by year-end as executive vp and president of the home furnishings operating group, where he headed the company's manufacturing operations as well as its infant's products and window treatment businesses.

Atkins joined Springs in July 1999 after a stint as ceo at Pete's Brewing Company, not long after taking the company public, and has clearly relished the hurly burly and give-and-take of public companies and their high quarterly visibility, a platform that will be lost once the major mill goes private. Before his tenure at Pete's, Atkins had worked at executive positions with Quaker Oats.

Crandall Bowles, Springs chairman and ceo, said that in light of Springs' plans to go private later this summer, "Jeff has decided to resign and pursue other opportunities more consistent with his career goals and the timing of his future plans. Jeff has had a significant impact on our company since joining in 1999, and we will miss his leadership, professionalism and business expertise."

Kelbley joined Springs in 1991 after holding executive level roles at General Electric Company and Bausch & Lomb. He began his career at Springs as cfo, then led the diversified products and specialty fabrics groups before being named to his current job.

With Kelbley's retirement, the company's big window business will now report to ceo Crandall Bowles, and the infant products business will report to Tom O'Connor, executive vp and president of the marketing group.

"Steve has made notable contributions to Springs during his tenure," said Bowles. "He made significant operating improvements in our core bed and bath operations. I want to personally thank him for his many contributions to the business and wish him well as he retires."

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