NEW YORK — In his first major round of appointments since becoming Burlington Industries’ president and chief executive officer in November, Joseph Gorga on Tuesday tapped three top-level officials.
This story first appeared in the January 21, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Ken Kunenberger is now president of Burlington Apparel Fabrics. A six-year veteran of the Greensboro, N.C.-based mill, Kunenberger last served as president of Burlington Worldwide’s North American operation.
Joel Futterman, most recently executive vice president of global product development, was named managing director for Burlington’s Hong Kong office. His career has included more than 35 years of service with the mill.
Michael Ambler, who was general manager of basic bedding at the home fashion maker WestPoint Stevens, was named executive vice president of manufacturing. All three report to Gorga, who became Burlington’s ceo when financier Wilbur L. Ross’ W.L. Ross & Co. bought the mill out of bankruptcy in November. When Gorga was appointed, Ross also cleared out most of the company’s executive offices, releasing a half-dozen veterans, including chairman and ceo George Henderson.
When the Delaware bankruptcy court initially approved Ross’ $614 million deal to buy the mill, Ross flew down to Greensboro to meet the company’s employees. He made it clear that all senior-level managers who wanted to stay with the mill would need to reapply for their jobs.
Gorga and Ross, who serves as chairman of the company, have sketched out a three-point plan for turning the mill around, including cutting costs, rolling out new technologies and pumping up the Burlington brand name.
In a statement, Gorga said each of the three executives would play a roll in implementing that plan, with Kunenberger focused on building the brand, Futterman working with Asian mills that supply Burlington and Ambler zeroing in on operational improvements. Burlington spent two years in bankruptcy prior to being acquired by Ross.