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Coats Group plc Group Chief Executive succession

Coats Group plc, the world’s leading manufacturer in thread and structural components for apparel and footwear and an innovative pioneer in performance materials, has announced a succession plan for Rajiv Sharma, who has decided to step down from his role after 14 years with Coats, the last eight years as Group Chief Executive, and leave the Group by the end of 2024.

rajiv-sharmaRajiv Sharma, Coats Group Chief Executive

Following a comprehensive selection process, supported by external advisers, the Board has appointed David Paja as Group Chief Executive designate. David is expected to join the Group and become an Executive Director of the Board on 1 September 2024 and assume responsibilities from Rajiv on 1 October 2024. Rajiv will remain available to the Board and David until year-end.

David Paja was, until recently, CEO of GKN Aerospace, part of Melrose Industries PLC, where he played a major role in the successful turnaround of the business and delivery of profitable growth. Prior to this, David held senior leadership positions at Aptiv, Honeywell and Valeo.

David Gosnell OBE, Chair of Coats, comments: “Rajiv has been instrumental in driving the transformation of Coats since being appointed Group Chief Executive eight years ago. He will leave us in a much stronger position, with a platform for accelerating profitable growth.”

“We are delighted to welcome David to the team. Having run a thorough search process, we are excited to have found a world-class candidate who has the experience and skills to deliver upon the next part of the Coats journey.”

Rajiv Sharma, Coats Group Chief Executive, comments: “It has been a privilege to lead Coats. During my 14 years with Coats, the company was listed on the London Stock Exchange, entered the FTSE 250 and has been transformed into a pure B2B industrial-focused company. The growth strategy that is underpinned by sustainability, innovation, digital, and acquisitions is delivering results with industry-leading margins and cash. I congratulate David Paja on his appointment as the next Group Chief Executive and wish him and the team every success.”

David Paja, Coats Group Chief Executive designate, comments: “I am very excited about taking up the Group Chief Executive role, the growth prospects for Coats, and what we can achieve over the medium-term given the strong starting position. I look forward to working with Rajiv and the team from September.”


For more information, please contact:

Coats Press Office

Notes to Editors

About Coats Group plc

Coats is a world leader in thread manufacturing and structural components for apparel and footwear, as well as an innovative pioneer in performance materials. These critical solutions are used to create a wide range of products, including ones that provide safety and protection for people, data, and the environment. Headquartered in the UK, Coats is a FTSE250 company and a FTSE4Good Index constituent. Revenues in 2023 were $1.4bn.

Trusted by the world’s leading companies to deliver vital, innovative, and sustainable solutions, Coats provides value-adding products, including apparel, accessory and footwear threads, structural components for footwear and accessories, fabrics, yarns, and software applications. Customer partners include companies from the apparel, footwear, automotive, telecoms, personal protection, and outdoor goods industries.

With a proud heritage dating back more than 250 years and a spirit of evolution to constantly stay ahead of changing market needs, Coats has operations across some 50 countries with a permanent workforce of more than 15,000, serving its customers worldwide.

Coats connects talent, textiles, and technology, to make a better and more sustainable world. Worldwide, there are four dedicated Coats Innovation and Sustainability Hubs, where experts collaborate with partners to create the materials and products of tomorrow. It participates in the UN Global Compact and is committed to Science Based sustainability targets for 2030 and beyond, with a goal of achieving net-zero by 2050. Coats is also committed to achieving its goals in Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, workplace health & safety, employee & community wellbeing, and supplier social performance.