Byline: Stuart Chirls

NEW YORK — In a shake-up reflecting increased competition in the worldwide polyester market, Trevira, the world’s largest polyester producer, has restructured its fiber business and realigned senior management.
Trevira, the $4 billion polyester division of Hoechst, has shrunk its polyester business from 13 to eight units and trimmed its senior fiber managers from six to four.
“Trevira is looking to make cost reductions worldwide,” said William Harris, Trevira’s president and chief executive office. “The moves are being made to streamline the worldwide business in order to focus on improvement, customer satisfaction and enhanced competitiveness.”
The new structure now combines five North American and European staple and filament businesses into two units, and spun-bonded and monofilament into one unit. Sewing thread has been folded into technical filament. Film, resins, intermediate, and tire cord remain separate units.
A spokeswoman said Trevira is undecided about executives’ specific titles under the realignment.
One notable shift in the consolidation concerns Don Lehman, who as president of textile polyester oversaw Trevira’s filament and staple businesses. He moves out of the polyester senior management circle to oversee the newly created group of business support services, which includes communications, environmental matters, human resources, information technology and legal.
Harris will take over responsibility for Trevira’s textile fibers business. Grover Smith has been promoted to head of Trevira’s worldwide polyester staple business, a new post, and will report to Harris. He had been head of North American staple. Toby Bradshaw, who remains as head of North American filament, and Ulrich Howe, who oversees worldwide filament, will also report to Harris.
Kenneth Kutcher, who had served as business director for filter products in cellulose acetate, has been named chief financial officer, a new position.
Trevira is also shifting its acetate business, which had come under the polyester umbrella, into parent Hoechst’s global basic chemicals division. James Simmons, president of global cellulose acetate, will report to Thomas Kennedy, president of basic chemicals. “This will help polyester stand on its own as an independent entity,” the Trevira spokeswoman said.
Rounding out the roster of senior managers in polyester are Siegmar Bieber, films; Ronald Guard, resins and intermediates, and Klaus Hirschberg, technical fibers. All continue in their current posts.

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