Coats appoints Global Environmental Health and Safety Director

Coats, the world’s leading industrial thread manufacturer and a major player in the Americas textile crafts market, has appointed Richard Aceves in the newly created role of Global Environmental, Health and Safety Director.  The position has been created to enhance the global coordination and oversight of the existing well established structure of regional Environmental, Health and Safety Directors.  Richard is responsible for delivering global Environmental, Health and Safety strategy, policies and procedures and auditing compliance with them.

Richard has over 20 years’ experience in major, complex, global manufacturing businesses and has an in depth knowledge of environmental, health and safety across the manufacturing industry.  He was most recently HSE Director, at FMC Technologies, a global provider of subsea systems and technologies and services to the oil and gas industry.  Prior to that, Richard worked at IMI plc, a FTSE 100 global manufacturing and engineering business, where he held several senior roles including Vice President, HSE and Sustainability. 

Andrew Speak, Chief Human Resources Officer, Coats, said: ‘A safe and healthy working environment is our number one priority at Coats.  We are targeting a reduction of incidents from an already low base so have created this dedicated role at a global level to help provide additional impetus to reach the ultimate aspiration of zero incidents.’  

Richard has worked in global roles covering all continents with focus on Latin America, Asia, and Eastern Europe. He is based in the US and reports to Andrew Speak, Chief Human Resources Officer.

Richard holds a Masters in Labour Relations and Human Resources from Michigan State University, an MBA in International Business Management from Chapman University, California, and a BS in Environmental Health and Safety from California State University Northridge.  He is a lean certified black belt.  


For more information and to request a photo of Anne Fahy contact:

Kristina Blissett, Head of Communications
T +44 (0)208 210 5084, M +44 (0)7714 539887

Notes to Editors

About Coats

Coats is the world’s leading industrial thread manufacturer and a major player in the Americas textile crafts market. At home in some 60 countries, Coats employs 19,000 people across six continents. Revenues in 2016 were US$1.5bn.

Coats’ pioneering history and innovative culture ensure the company leads the way around the world: providing complementary and value added products and services to the apparel and footwear industries; applying innovative techniques to develop high technology Performance Materials threads and yarns in areas such as automotive, composites and fibre optics; and extending the crafts offer into new markets and online.

Headquartered in the UK, Coats is a FTSE 250 listed company on the London Stock Exchange.

  • Each year we make enough thread to go into 8 billion pairs of jeans - that’s one for every person on the planet
  • Every month Coats produces enough thread to stretch all the way to the sun
  • More than 450 million pairs of shoes are made every year using Coats’ thread
  • More than 100 million car airbags are made using Coats’ Performance Materials thread every year
  • In 1879 Thomas Edison used Coats’ thread in his experiments to invent the light bulb
  • Our Red Heart knitting and crochet yarn brand has been named ‘America’s Most Recommended’ by the Women’s Choice Award for three years running
  • Our flame retardant Performance Materials threads can withstand temperatures as high as 1,000 degrees Celsius
  • Coats is the second largest supplier of zips to global brands