Bill Ghitis, former president of Invista Apparel at Invista Inc., may have stepped down with the intention of retiring, but he doesn't plan to be totally out of the apparel, textiles and fibers scene.
"I resigned my post and retired because I wanted to do the Johnny Carson number — he left at the top of the heap in TV, and I left Invista with very good profit results, a company poised for a lot more growth. So I see it as leaving on a very optimistic note," said Ghitis, 59. He served 33 years at DuPont Textiles & Interiors, where his responsibilities included leading the global apparel portfolio, managing consumer insights, heading project innovation and building network leadership.
Dave Trerotola, former global president of Invista's performance materials business, succeeded Ghitis, who left the company May 1.
Instead of retreating to a golf course or a ski slope, Ghitis, who is fluent in five languages — French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and English — created his own consulting firm, Bian International LLC, in May. He noted the word "bian" in Chinese means change. That is specifically what Ghitis believes needs to continually happen in the apparel and textile industries if companies want to survive and remain viable in an international marketplace that's impacted by diverse cultures, politics and different business models.
"I did not sign a non-compete, so I'll be looking for very few advisory partners at a very high level to develop independent partnerships. I'll be based for the most part in New York, and in Rome," said Ghitis, who grew up in the textile field in Milan, where his father, the late Yasha Ghitis, was a major importer of Australian wool. "I plan to be a consultant in apparel, textiles, business management and corporate governance, but not 24/7. That's why I resigned. I also believe the innovative marketing I've learned throughout the years could be applied to other industries. But I won't make any decisions until this fall."
Regarding Ghitis' professional track record, he was named president of Invista's $8.4 billion synthetic fiber powerhouse in 2004, following DuPont's sale of its textiles and fibers business to Koch Industries Inc. for $4.2 billion in 2004. DTI was renamed Invista. Ghitis was responsible for Invista's global portfolio of brands, which includes Lycra spandex premium stretch fiber, durable Cordura fabrics, Tactel, Supplex and Coolmax and Coolmax FreshFX fabrics that wick moisture away from the body. These brands are used in a range of clothing, from intimate apparel, bodywear and activewear to casualwear, sportswear, ready-to-wear and men's wear.
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