A family dynasty came to an abrupt end last week when Neil H. Hightower, president of Thomaston Mills, resigned.

George H. Hightower Jr, executive vice president of the 100-year-old textiles manufacturer, and H. Stewart Davis, executive vice president and president of its consumer products division, also resigned.

The company's board of directors named A. William Ott acting president and chief executive officer of the ailing business, which reported disappointing earnings on Tuesday.

The announcement was made after the markets closed.

"The company is in a loss position," Neil Hightower said, explaining his reasons for resigning. "Basically it's time to try something else. It's a great company with great people - it's just a change in management."

Thomaston, which has four plants and 1,500 employees, has had successive earnings disappointments including Tuesday's second-quarter figures.

The company reported a loss of $5.93m or 91 cents a share, on sales of $37.15m, compared to a loss of $2.2m or 33 cents a share on sales of $37.2m in the year-earlier period. Thomaston shares closed unchanged Thursday at 20 cents.