The chairman of troubled textile giant Guilford Mills, Chuck Hayes, said today he will not quit the company and pledged to stay on at least until it emerges from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Hayes told the Greensboro News & Record newspaper earlier this month he would make a decision on his future soon, but now says he will decide on his long-term future when Guilford is back in the black.

"I'm not ready to make a decision yet," he told the North Carolina paper. "I want to see this thing all the way through and be there to look out for the people and their benefits programs...I've always been a blue collar guy and looking out for the blue collar worker is what I need to do."

Hayes, who has been with the firm for 41 years and was CEO from 1971 until 1999, added if he does stay it could be in either on a full- time basis or as a part-time consultant.

Guilford is expected to emerge from Chapter 11 this summer under which it would have $125 million of debt wiped out by its lenders in return for a 90 per cent stake.