As of Thursday, August 6, 2015
After nearly 20 years as head of the largest U.S. thread manufacturer, Fred Jackson is stepping down as the chief executive officer of American & Efird, effective Sept. 28.
Jackson will remain with the company as the non-executive chairman of the board. Taking over as the new CEO is Les Miller, who currently is the company’s chief operating officer.
Jackson’s nearly two decades with American & Efird—which makes industrial and consumer sewing and embroidery thread for industries in the medical supply, automotive, footwear and apparel arena—have taken the company on an international journey.
The company, headquartered in Mount Holly, N.C., successfully completed acquisitions in 2012 of its former joint ventures in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and China. During Jackson’s tenure, American & Efird also acquired Gütermann, the fourth-largest company in the global thread business.
Miller has been the company’s COO since 2008. Before that, he was head of American & Efird’s global sales department as its senior vice president.
For years, American & Efird had been owned by Ruddick Corp., which also owned a chain of supermarkets. But in 2012, Ruddick sold the thread company to KPS Capital Partners, a New York private equity firm, for $180 million.
The company, which has been in business for nearly 125 years, owns or operates 28 manufacturing facilities in 23 countries and employs 1,187 people in North Carolina.