Andy Speak appointed Chief Human Resources Officer, Coats plc

  • 14 Mar 2013

World leading industrial thread and consumer textile crafts business, Coats plc has appointed Andy Speak as Chief Human Resources Officer reporting to Group Chief Executive Paul Forman, following Richard (Dick) Norman’s retirement.

Andy joins Coats from BP Lubricants, where he held the role of Global Head of Human Resources, based in Swindon, UK.  He brings over 27 years of HR experience to Coats, having worked for blue-chip companies including Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceuticals, Kellogg, PepsiCo and Unilever and has lived and worked in multiple geographies including the Czech Republic, Poland, Russia, France and the US. 

Commenting on Andy's appointment, Paul Forman said, 'Andy has held a range of senior HR generalist roles over the last 20 years in large, complex international organisations. He has particular strengths in organisational development, change management, talent management and succession planning, and is well placed to build on our employer credentials in the 70 plus countries in which Coats operates.'

Andrew has a first class Biochemistry degree from the University of Leeds.


Photos are available on request

For more information please contact:

Kristina Blissett, Communications Manager,

T +44 208 210 5084, M +44 7714 539 887

Notes to editors

95% of Coats employees completed the 2012 Employee Engagement Survey and the engagement score was 77%, eight points above the global benchmark and an increase of five percentage points on 2011's results.

We insist on the highest health and safety standards across all our operations.  In 2012 we had 0.51 recordable accidents per 100 full time employees, down from 0.62 in 2011, compared with the USA Textile Mills average of 3.5 [i]         

About Coats

With a rich heritage dating back to the 1750s, Coats is the world's leading industrial thread and consumer textile crafts business, at home in more than 70 countries, employing 20,000 people across six continents. Revenues in 2012 were US$1.7bn.

Our well-known brands and strong relationships with customers and consumers mean our products and services meet current and future needs. Our company-wide understanding of our business partners and consumers, coupled with the deep expertise of our people, builds trust and certainty.

Coats’ pioneering history and innovative culture ensure the company continues leading the way around the world: providing complementary and value added products and services to the apparel and footwear industries; extending the crafts offer into new markets and online; and applying innovative techniques to develop products in new areas such as tracer threads, aramids and fibre optics.

One in five garments on the planet is held together using Coats’ thread

  • 75 million car airbags are made using Coats’ thread every year
  • Coats produces enough yarn to knit 65 million scarves a year
  • In three and a half hours, Coats makes enough thread to go the moon and back
  • 300 million pairs of shoes are made every year using Coats’ thread
  • One million teabags using Coats’ thread are brewed every 10 minutes
  • Thousands of surgical operations take place every day using Coats’ thread
  • Thomas Edison used Coats’ thread in 1879 to invent the light bulb
  • Coats produces enough thread to reach around the Equator every 11 minutes
  • Coats is the second largest and fastest growing global zip manufacturer

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[i] USA occupational Safety and Health Administration figures 2011