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Coats appoints new President, Performance Materials

Coats, the world’s leading industrial thread manufacturer, announces it has appointed Keith DuPont as President, Performance Materials. The Coats Performance Materials business includes hi-tech end uses such as automotive, composites, fibre optics, flame retardant and engineered performance fabrics and knits.

Keith will be responsible for delivering the overall strategy for Performance Materials, including operational and commercial activities, meeting sales and organic growth targets as well as developing talent. He will report to Rajiv Sharma, Group Chief Executive.

Rajiv Sharma, Group Chief Executive, Coats, said: ‘Appointing an industry specialist like Keith with extensive experience of companies in our Performance Materials sector will bring additional rich insight to this dynamic part of our business. Keith has the required skills, expertise and mindset to accelerate profitable sales growth in Performance Materials. I also look forward to his contributions to the Group Executive Team.’

Keith has over twenty-five years’ experience of manufacturing and commercial leadership across the metals, plastics and chemicals sectors. He joins from Handy & Harman, part of Steel Partners Holdings LP, where he was President and Chief Executive Officer of the Handy & Harman Tubing Group. Based in Delaware, US, he was responsible for developing long term strategy, effectively leveraging Lean Manufacturing and delivered a significant improvement in Health and Safety.

Prior to that, Keith was Chief Procurement Officer at the chemical company Chemtura. He also held several strategic sales and marketing roles at SABIC, a global leader in speciality plastics, focused on identifying and developing new product innovations for the automotive, electronics and speciality materials markets. He has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York. Keith joins Coats on Monday 2 April and will also become a member of the Group Executive Team. He will be based in Charlotte, US.

Keith replaces Shantanu Banerjee who has become Group Head of Innovation. This is a newly created position to ensure Coats has a role dedicated to driving its focus on innovation. Shantanu will be responsible for its three Innovation Hubs which are being developed in Sevier, US; Bursa, Turkey; and Shenzhen, China. He also leads the Coats Global Innovation Forum, an internal group to foster and support innovation across the company.


For more information, please contact:

Kristina Blissett, Head of Communications
T +44 (0)208 210 5084, M +44 (0)7714 539887

Notes to Editors

Coats is the world’s leading industrial thread manufacturer and a major player in the Americas textile crafts market. At home in some 50 countries, Coats employs 19,000 people across six continents. Revenues in 2017 were US$1.5bn.

Coats’ pioneering history and innovative culture ensure the company leads the way around the world: providing complementary and value added products and services to the apparel and footwear industries; applying innovative techniques to develop high technology Performance Materials threads and yarns in areas such as automotive, composites and fibre optics; and extending the crafts offer into new markets and online.

Headquartered in the UK, Coats is a FTSE 250 listed company on the London Stock Exchange. It is the Official Thread Supplier to the Royal Shakespeare Company.

  • Each year we make enough thread to go into 8 billion pairs of jeans – that’s one for every person on the planet
  • Every month Coats produces enough thread to stretch all the way to the sun
  • More than 450 million pairs of shoes are made every year using Coats’ thread
  • More than 100 million car airbags are made using Coats’ Performance Materials thread every year
  • In 1879 Thomas Edison used Coats’ thread in his experiments to invent the light bulb
  • Our Red Heart knitting and crochet yarn brand has been named ‘America’s Most Recommended’ by the Women’s Choice Award for three years running
  • Our flame retardant Performance Materials threads can withstand temperatures as high as 1,000 degrees Celsius
  • Coats is the second largest supplier of zips to global brands