International Textile Group Inc is realigning its Cone Denim and Burlington WorldWide divisions to create a single business group called ITG Apparel & Specialty Fabrics.

The company says the move to combining its apparel resources into a single unit "provides a simpler, more robust platform to leverage our strengths and offer customers greater support within a more flexible, cost-competitive structure."

Thomas E McKenna, president of Cone Denim, is to leave the company, while Kenneth T Kunberger, president Burlington WorldWide, has been named president of the ITG Apparel & Specialty Fabrics group. 

Kunberger joined Burlington Industries in 1998, and previously worked at Liz Claiborne and VF Corporation.  

Under the new realigned structure, ITG will operate two primary businesses: ITG Apparel & Specialty Fabrics and ITG Automotive Safety Group.

"We are moving to the next level in ITG's evolution as a global provider," said Joseph L Gorga, president and CEO of ITG. 

"Our strategic initiatives over the last couple of years have focused on globally expanding our capabilities, which today span across China, Vietnam, Nicaragua, India, Europe, Mexico, and the US. 

"As a single, integrated business we look forward to the opportunity to better support common customers and leverage our strengths in key technologies, product development, customer service and manufacturing platforms, while preserving the value of our brands."

Specific product lines within the Apparel group will be led by Jeff Peck, executive vice president technical and specialty products and Patrick Palmer, executive vice president worsted wool products. 

Kunberger will directly lead the cotton products group which combines the Cone Denim and Burlington WorldWide cotton casual businesses.