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Milliken Shake-Up Stirs Rumor Mill

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“IT’S JUST BUSINESS …”

Rumors are swirling about the sudden departure of Joe Salley as president and CEO of Milliken & Company – a move announced yesterday by the Spartanburg, S.C.-based chemical and manufacturing company.

According to multiple sources close to the company, though, the rumor mill is bunk.  They say Salley was forced out for a very simple reason: Business.

“When you dump a bunch of assets that go on to perform spectacularly well, that’s not going to endear you to the board,” a source close to the situation told us.

The source added that any allegations of a personal nature involving Salley were unfounded.

Whatever happened, the abruptness of the power change at one of the Palmetto State’s biggest, most influential/ politically active corporations caught observers off-guard.  So did Salley’s refusal to comment to local media outlets about his ouster.

“We sincerely thank Joe Salley for his service to Milliken, which covers a span of 20 years, the past eight as president and CEO,” Milliken board chairman Harold Chandler said in a statement.

Chandler was elected by the company’s board to replace Salley as Milliken & Company’s president and CEO – effectively immediately.

Salley had been Milliken & Company’s CEO since 2008 – two years before the death of Roger Milliken, the textile heir/ industrialist who built the firm into a global powerhouse.  The privately-held company employs an estimated 7,000 people at nearly forty locations around the world.

A famed political activist, Milliken was one of the financiers of the Republican party’s “Southern Strategy” as well as one of the architects of the South Carolina Republican Party.

(Banner via Milliken China)

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