In April 1999, Tom Evans was named chairman and CEO of Collins & Aikman Corp., a global, $1.8 billion manufacturer of automotive interior trim systems, including textile, plastic, molded rubber and acoustics products.
Serving major OEMs worldwide, the Troy, Mich.-based company employs more than 15,000 and operates 65 facilities in 12 countries. C&A acquired the bulk of its plastics operations when it purchased Larizza Industries Inc. and its Manchester Plastics unit in 1996 for $174 million. That unit now operates as Collins & Aikman Plastics Inc.
Evans brought with him more than 25 years of broad experience in global transportation markets, including efforts in product development, manufacturing and international operations management.
Prior to joining C&A, Evans was president of Tenneco Automotive, the global manufacturer of Monroe-brand ride control and Walker-brand exhaust products and systems. Under his direction, Tenneco Automotive doubled its original-equipment business globally over the past four years and executed a comprehensive worldwide restructuring program. As part of that, he dramatically increased Tenneco Automotive's heavy-duty exhaust systems business, developed significant product differentiation, and expanded the company's markets throughout the world.
Previously, Evans served for six years with heavy-equipment maker Case Corp. in a series of senior management positions, the last being senior vice president of worldwide operations. At Case, he was one of the primary architects of the firm's successful restructuring program, and helped to take the company public in 1994.
Evans has extensive experience in the automotive industry, having spent 16 years with Rockwell International's Automotive Operations and Federal Mogul Corp. He began his career at Rockwell International in 1973, holding various management positions from chief engineer of applied research to director of the company's worldwide axle program and OEM sales groups. Evans later spent two years at Federal Mogul, where he served as general manager of the worldwide seal and ball bearing business unit.
The Wisconsin Central Transportation Corporation appointed Evans to its Board of Directors in July 1998.
He earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Pennsylvania State University, a master's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan, and master's of business administration from the advanced management program at Michigan State University.