Byline: Scott Malone

NEW YORK — Concluding a search it began in February, Burlington Industries on Friday named a former chemical industry executive to a new number-two post.
Douglas J. McGregor, retired chairman and chief executive officer of M.A. Hanna Co., is set to join the Greensboro, N.C., mill on June 1 as president and chief operating officer. He will report to George Henderson, chairman and ceo.
McGregor, 59, will assume responsibility for overseeing day-to-day operations at the company’s apparel and home furnishings textile operations, leaving Henderson to focus on Burlington’s global expansion and other new ventures, according to a Burlington spokeswoman. Those operational oversight responsibilities are currently split between Henderson and vice chairman Abe Stenberg, 64, who plans to retire in December.
In a statement, Henderson said, “We are delighted to have someone with Doug McGregor’s depth of business experience. His remarkable record of building fast-moving, profitable operations will help us continue our drive to increase speed and achieve superior operating performance.”
McGregor was not available for comment Friday.
The post of president at Burlington until recently had been held by Henderson, but is now vacant, the spokeswoman said. The company currently has no chief operating officer.
McGregor retired from polymers producer M.A. Hanna, based in Cleveland, in October 1998, after spending 10 years at the company in a variety of executive roles. Before joining M.A. Hanna, McGregor worked for Rockwell International and Ford Motor Co.
McGregor sits on the boards of Vulcan Materials Co., of Birmingham, Ala., and KeyCorp, a financial services company based in Cleveland.
Bryan C. Hunt, an analyst with First Union Capital Markets, said that during McGregor’s tenure, M.A. Hanna grew from a $100 million mining concern to a $2 billion diversified chemical company.
“He’s coming in at a very good time,” Hunt said. “The company has been through a major transition period, and more significant change is necessary. And the company is still in that mode. The management and employees are open to change.”
Hunt noted that having McGregor overseeing day-to-day operations would free Henderson to guide projects like AvantGarb, a nanotechnology firm Burlington bought early this year that is trying to commercialize a technology for altering the molecular structure of fabrics.