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Kretzer Steps Down As President And CEO Of Unifi

William T. Kretzer, president and CEO of Unifi Inc., Greensboro, N.C., resigned and left the company at the first of this month.Kretzer, who had been with Unifi since its founding in 1971 and is well-respected in the industry, surprised many with his announcement. He was named president and CEO in 1986.In an interview with ATI, G. Allen Mebane, chairman and founder of Unifi, made it clear that Kretzer left of his own accord and said people have been trying to find hidden meaning in the suddenness of the departure. Mebane has assumed Kretzers role as chief executive officer.Bill stepped down, Mebane said. He just decided he wanted a change in career path. We will reorganize the people we have here, and we will continue to do business just like we always have.Mebane had nothing but praise for Kretzer, calling him a good friend, as well as one of the strengths and drivers of the companys growth.Brian R. Parke will become Unifis new president and chief operating officer. Parke was managing director of Unifis manufacturing operation in Letterkenny, Ireland.Kretzer isnt the only head of a leading textile company to step down recently. Three months ago, Pat Danahy, CEO of Cone Mills, also headquartered in Greensboro, retired suddenly. Mebane insists there is no parallel between the two.Unifi has suffered some losses as of late at the hands of cheaper imports from Asia. The companys stock price has fallen nearly 50 percent since the beginning of 1998 and now hovers around the $20 mark. According to Mebane, Unifi will still post an after-tax profit for 1998.Recently, however, the company reported a second-quarter loss compared to the same period last year. Net sales and gross margin were $319 million and 15.8 percent respectively, compared $343 million and 17.2 percent in 1998. Net income declined 31.9 percent to $22.5 million.Unifi Inc. manufactures textured polyester and nylon yarns, covered yarn and partially oriented yarn (P.O.Y.). The company has 19 manufacturing sites, including its texturing and P.O.Y. plant in Ireland. For more on Unifis operation, see Tops In Textured Yarn in this issue.

February 1999