The apparel fabrics division of Burlington Industries has won a $5.53 million contract to provide cloth for the US Air Force, according to the US Department of Defense.

News of the new contract, which will be carried out in the company's factories in Raeford and Cordova, NC, and in Hurt, Va, coincided with an announcement from Burlington that it is launching a new management structure for apparel fabrics that will accelerate the organisation's global focus and new business model.

The changes coincide with the retirement of Douglas J McGregor, president and chief operating officer, on 31 December 2002.

Peter Liu, president of Burlington WorldWide, will expand his responsibilities to include all global commercial activities for apparel fabrics including sales, marketing and product development. Reporting to Hong Kong based Mr Liu will be Ken Kunberger, the new president of Burlington WorldWide - North America, responsible for sales, product management and marketing for apparel fabrics in North America.

In turn, reporting to MrKunberger are Jeff Peck, EVP and general manager of synthetic and wool products; Mike Moody, EVP and general manager of cotton products; Tom Leonard, EVP sales, branded apparel, uniform and barrier markets; Lou D'Lando, EVP sales, new business development, retail and activewear markets; and Rick Schneider, VP international sales.

Joel Futterman, EVP product development, will continue to direct all apparel fabric development worldwide.

George Edmunds, VP operations - Burlington WorldWide, is based in Hong Kong and will continue to coordinate the division's international mill
partners with respect to supply chain logistics and quality standards.

A search is underway to fill a new position, EVP North American operations. This position will directly manage the Burlington Apparel Fabrics plants and operations to include functional responsibility for the manufacturing operations in the company's Burlington House and Lees Carpets divisions.

Jim Sells has been named VP global operations support assuming a new role to drive the corporation's global logistics plans and support the growing process and systems requirements for Burlington WorldWide.

Burlington has been busy restructuring its operations since filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November. Part of this has involved closing plants in its apparel fabrics division, with the loss of 4,400 jobs in the United States and 1,300 in Mexico. 

In a statement, George W Henderson, III, chairman and CEO, said: "We have moved aggressively over the last two years to set a new business direction and expanded capabilities for Burlington."

"The organisational team we are announcing today positions the company for continued progress and future growth. Through our developing network of global resources, we are able to increase our product reach and flexibility while minimising our cost structure, enabling us to become a more valuable partner to our customers."