Changing of the Guard Reshapes Dan River
Home & Textiles Today Staff -- Home Textiles Today, January 3, 2005
Danville, Va. — In a top-tier executive shuffle as Dan River Inc. prepares to emerge from bankruptcy, possibly as early as this week, Joseph Lanier Jr., chairman and CEO, is ceding all day-to-day operational responsibilities and stepping down as CEO, and Tom Muscalino has resigned as president and chief operating officer.
Lanier, at the helm of Dan River since leading a buyout of the textiles producer 15 years ago, will remain non-executive chairman of the company, while Barry Shea, currently executive vice president and chief financial officer, takes over as president and CEO, assuming responsibilities held by both Lanier and Muscalino.
Scott Batson, currently senior vice president and controller, will become chief financial officer, succeeding Shea.
“It has been my stated goal to see the company emerge from a difficult period,” Lanier told employees in an internal memo. “Once done, it will be time for me to step aside from day-to-day operating responsibilities. For the last 15 years, I've had the great privilege of being CEO of a wonderful company and closely associated with some of the finest people on earth. As chairman, I look forward to the continued association, but in a less active way.”
Separately, Muscalino told employees in a memo, “Regrettably, my association with our company, and to use Joe's words, 'some of the finest people on earth,' will end upon our emergence from bankruptcy. I consider myself fortunate to have had the privilege of working with you and in closing I reiterate my continued optimism for our company as well as my pride in our organization.”
Lanier, Shea, Muscalino and former president Dick Williams, all former WestPoint Stevens executives, made up the management team which together bought a financially beleaguered Dan River and later built it up through a series of acquisitions into the nation's fourth-largest home fashions producer.
Putting the final touches on its plan to emerge from Chapter 11 early this year, Dan River filed a plan supplement to its plan of reorganization with a U.S. Bankruptcy Court two weeks ago, one of the final steps in the process.
Despite the changes at the top, a number of other Dan River executives will remain in place, including Greg Boozer, executive vice president of manufacturing; Dan Hammer, executive vice president of home fashions sales and marketing; and Lee Goodrich, vice president, secretary and general counsel.
No mention in the memo was made of the company's apparel fabrics division, raising questions about its fate, especially after the recently announced sale of the company's engineered products division.
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