Charles D. Owen III retires from namesake company

Swannanoa, N.C. -- Marking the end of an era in the Southern textiles industry, and a tradition of family ownership or management that spans back more than a century, Charles D. Owen III resigned Friday afternoon, Aug. 25, as president of the Charles D. Owen blanket division of Springs Global.

Shortly after returning from safari in East Africa with his family, Owen resigned from the blanket manufacturing company that had been founded by his family in 1904 in New Bedford, Mass.

"It felt like it was time to go,” Owen told Home Textiles Today, “and I'll take some time to think about what I'm going to do next. I'll be here for a little while longer, and give them any help I can. And then in the next couple of weeks I'll open an office down here."

Due to a non-compete clause in his contract with Springs Global, he will be barred from working in the industry for 17 months, he said. "And I'll honor that. It's the right thing to do."

Succeeding Owen in an expanded role is Harvey Simon as president of basic bedding, a division which now includes blankets as well as the pillow and mattress pad unit he had led.

Charles D, Owen III had worked at his family's company since 1976. "My first summer job, at 16 years old, was shipping blankets to Kmart, and I worked there part time in the plant until I joined the company full time just out of college when I was 23."

In a memo to Springs Global workers, Springs exec vp sales and marketing Tom O'Connor said, "Charlie was instrumental in driving the integration of Charles D. Owen Company into Springs Global. We thank him for his service and wish him all the best. He has agreed to stay in close contact with the organization and will provide advice and expertise as needed."

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