Spartanburg-based Milliken & Co. names new president and CEO

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One of the Upstate’s largest and oldest industrial businesses is undergoing a leadership change.

Spartanburg-based Milliken & Co. announced on Wednesday, July 11, that Halsey M. Cook Jr. will take over as the company’s next president and CEO on Sept. 1.

Cook succeeds J. Harold Chandler, who will return to his role as the chair of the board of directors at the global chemical and textile giant.

“The board of directors is confident that Halsey is the right leader for Milliken’s next era,” Chandler said in a statement. “He has the experience to accelerate what is working very well today at Milliken and, importantly, introduce change where the organization can further leverage our emphasis on innovation, manufacturing excellence, and customer care.”

Cook’s 30-year career includes leadership roles in sales, marketing, and product development in the U.S. and overseas at companies such as United Technologies and Legrand North America.

Most recently, he was president and CEO for Sonepar USA, a Dutch-owned global distributor of electrical products headquartered in North Charleston.

Cook, who has a B.A. in economics and English from the University of South Carolina and an MBA from the University of Virginia, said he is “honored and excited” about his new role at Milliken & Co.

“It is an esteemed company with talented associates and an opportunity-rich future. I am looking forward to meeting the team and listening to their ideas and aspirations for the next chapter of Milliken & Co.,” he said in a written statement.

Founded in 1865, Milliken employs about 7,000 workers and operates more than 35 manufacturing sites and numerous sales and service centers worldwide.

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