J. Harold Chandler, the former CEO of the Chattanooga-based Unum Corp., has been elected chairman, president and chief executive officer for the Milliken Co. in Spartanburg, S.C., following the resignation this week of Dr. Joseph M. Salley as Milliken's CEO.
"We sincerely thank Joe Salley for his service to Milliken which covers a span of 20 years, the past eight as its president and CEO," Chandler said in a statement this week. "Our initial step will be to ensure an effective transition and to maintain the positive momentum from which the company is currently benefiting. Together, we will continue to innovate, contribute to Spartanburg and our other communities, and be a leader in our industry."
Chandler, a 67-year-old former Chattanooga resident who grew up in South Carolina, has served as a member of the Milliken's board in Spartanburg, S.C., for 14 years and has been the board chairman for the past five years. Chandler served in a similar role at Unum in Chattanooga from 1999 to 2003 after he joined the former Provident Life & Accident Insurance Co., in 1993 and helped with the company's purchase of the Paul Revere Corp., and then the 1999 merger with the Unum Corp., in Portland, Maine to create the world's biggest disability insurer.
Chandler was forced out as Unum CEO in 2003 but he was ultimately paid a $17.3 million severance package.
Chandler is a native South Carolinian and product of a textile family. He graduated from Wofford College in Spartanburg, where he has served on its board of trustees for 24 years, the last five as its chairman.
Established in 1865, Milliken has developed one of the larger collections of United States patents held by a private U.S. company. With expertise across a breadth of disciplines, including specialty chemical, floor covering and performance materials, the company has more than 35 manufacturing facilities around the world with more than 7,000 associates.