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Rajiv Sharma appointed Executive Director Coats plc

Rajiv Sharma has been appointed as an Executive Director of the Coats plc Board effective 1 December 2014

Coats plc, the world’s leading industrial thread and consumer textile crafts business, is pleased to announce the appointment of Rajiv Sharma, Global CEO, Coats Industrial, as an Executive Director of the Coats plc Board effective 1 December 2014.

Rajiv joined Coats in November 2010 to head the Industrial Division which, under his leadership, has been at the forefront of product and service innovation for the global apparel and footwear industries, consistently delivering profitable sales growth.  The Division also houses the fast growing Speciality business, which produces high technology threads and yarns from performance materials for non-apparel and footwear uses such as tracer threads, automotive, aramids and fibre optics.

Mike Clasper, Chairman, Coats plc said: ‘Rajiv’s appointment reflects the significant progress that has been made in the Industrial Division over the last four years under his leadership, as well as his strong commercial and operational skills.  Rajiv’s experience will prove valuable to the Board and to Coats as we move towards once again becoming a listed company.’

Rajiv Sharma said: ‘I am very much looking forward to joining the Board as it continues to develop the strategy and actions to drive performance and profitable sales growth across Coats’ global business.’


Rajiv joined Coats in November 2010 to lead the Industrial Division and is responsible for its global operations.

Before joining Coats, Rajiv worked at Shell where he was Regional General Manager, Asia-Pacific for the multi-billion dollar aviation fuels and lubricants business.   After a successful turnaround he moved to Shell Upstream as General Manager Commercial, Asia-Pacific, gasification and clean coal energy.

During his career Rajiv has also worked at Westinghouse, SAAB, Honeywell and GE, and his experience spans sales, marketing, M&A, business development and general management.  The majority of his roles have been focused on growing or turning around businesses and he has worked across the US, Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa.  He has been a board member of several joint ventures in Shell and GE across Asia-Pacific and was chairman of a Sinopec-Shell JV that had coal to liquid operations in China.

Rajiv has a degree in Mechanical Engineering (Robotics) from the National Institute of Engineering, Warangal, India and an MBA from University of Pittsburgh, USA.  He has lived in many different countries and covered all continents during his career, and is an active supporter of Cancer Care institutions in South Asia.




Photos available on request from

For more information, please contact:

Anna Mitchell, Group Director of Communications
T +44 (0)208 210 5015, M +44 (0)7740 747 976

Notes to Editors

About Coats

With a rich heritage dating back to the 1750s, Coats is the world’s leading industrial thread and consumer textile crafts business, at home in more than 70 countries, employing more than 20,000 people across six continents. Revenues in 2013 were US$1.7bn to which the Industrial Division contributed $1.2bn.

Coats’ trading over the first half of 2014 continued to improve, with consolidated sales for the period increasing by 2% year-on-year, continuing the positive sales trend experienced during 2013. At the half year, Industrial Division revenue rose 5% year-on-year, primarily due to strong growth in Asia and EMEA in both the core Apparel and footwear category and within Coats’ expanding Specialty business. Double digit sales growth was delivered in key markets like India, Turkey, USA and Vietnam due to share gains and market growth.

Our well-known brands and strong relationships with customers and consumers mean our products and services meet current and future needs. Our company-wide understanding of our business partners and consumers, coupled with the deep expertise of our people, builds trust and certainty.

Coats’ pioneering history and innovative culture ensure the company continues leading the way around the world: providing complementary and value added products and services to the apparel and footwear industries; extending the crafts offer into new markets and online; and applying innovative techniques to develop products in new areas such as tracer threads, aramids and fibre optics.

  • One in five garments on the planet is held together using Coats’ thread
  • 100 million car airbags are made using Coats’ thread every year
  • Coats produces enough yarn to knit 70 million scarves a year
  • In three and a half hours, Coats makes enough thread to go to the moon and back
  • 400 million pairs of shoes are made every year using Coats’ thread
  • One million teabags using Coats’ thread are brewed every 10 minutes
  • Thousands of surgical operations take place every day using Coats’ thread
  • Thomas Edison used Coats’ thread in 1879 to invent the light bulb
  • Coats produces enough thread to reach around the Equator every 11 minutes
  • Coats is the second largest and fastest growing global zip manufacturer