Sage Automotive Interiors Names Chris Heard as Chief Operating Officer

Chris Heard, Chief Operating Officer, Sage Automotive Interiors

GREENVILLE, SC—Sage Automotive Interiors has named Chris Heard as Chief Operating Officer, responsible for the company’s business operations in Europe, North America and South America and its global supply chain network.

Heard joined Sage predecessor Milliken & Company in 1985, where he held the positions of Development Director, Director of Manufacturing, Plant Manager and Product Process Improvement Manager. He was named Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Sage operations in Asia in 2009 when the company was formed from Milliken & Company’s automotive division.


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Heard most recently was Vice President of Sales and Marketing, with responsibility for Sage business operations in North and South America. A graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology, he holds a bachelor of science in Chemical Engineering.

The naming of a new Chief Operating Officer comes on the heels of the official closing of Asahi Kasei Corporation’s acquisition of Sage, which was announced this past July. Headquartered in Greenville, S.C., on the CU-ICAR campus, Sage will remain an independent company, according to Sage President and CEO Dirk Pieper.

“We’re excited about the acquisition and the opportunities for growth it brings to our business operations and our associates,” Pieper said. “We now have significant opportunities to reinforce our research and development process and product enhancements, and the capital to grow the business both domestically and globally.”

Formerly a division of Milliken & Company, Sage Automotive Interiors was established in 2009. The company was acquired in 2014 by Clearlake Capital Group, L.P., a private investment firm located in Clearlake, Calif. In recent years, Sage has steadily expanded its global footprint to include offices and manufacturing facilities in the U.S., Japan, China, Brazil, Korea, India, Mexico and Europe.

About Sage Automotive Interiors
Sage Automotive Interiors (www.sageautomotiveinteriors.com) is one of the world’s leading providers of automotive body cloth—seating, door panel surfaces, and headliners—to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Global offices and manufacturing locations include the U.S., Japan, China, Brazil, Korea, India and Europe. Sage enjoys core strengths in consumer research, sustainability and innovative problem solving for the OEMs. Sage’s vision is to be the market leader in design, engineering and technical capability, supported by world-class manufacturing. Sage Automotive Interiors is an Asahi Kasei Company.