NEW YORK — Cone Mills Corp. has named Bud W. Willis 3rd president of its textile products group, effective Jan. 1.
Willis, a 24-year Cone veteran and currently president of Cone’s denim division, will succeed Richard S. Vetack, who is also a senior vice president of Cone. Vetack, who said Tuesday he will retire at the end of this year, will remain as a member of Cone’s board of directors.
Cone said a search is under way for a successor to Willis in the denim area.
Vetack, 57, joined Cone in 1959 and held several plant manager, sales and marketing posts with the company, becoming president of the textile products group in 1986. Under his supervision, the unit has grown to account for nearly three quarters of all Cone’s sales. In 1993, textile products represented $575.8 million of Cone’s $769.2 million in overall sales.
Vetack is also responsible for helping establish Cone’s Northpointe sportswear fabrics division in August 1992.
“I’ve put in 35 years with company, and we’ve been through the good times and the bad times,” Vetack said. “I feel today, more than ever, that the management team that is in place is more than capable of carrying on and achieving the goals of Cone Mills.”
Willis, who joined Cone in 1970, was a supervisor, department head and superintendent at the company’s Henrietta, and Florence, N.C., plants until being named manager at the Henrietta facility in 1975. In 1976, he was named general manager of the Cliffside, N.C., facility.
In 1979, Willis was named division vice president and in 1985 was made executive vice president in the textile products division and elected corporate vice president.

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