New CEO take reins at Charleston-based global manufacturer

Bill Finn is chairman and former CEO of AstenJohnson, which has operations in the Americas, Europe and Asia.

A large, global employer based in the Charleston region has a new CEO.

AstenJohnson Holdings announced Wednesday that Kevin Frank replaced Dan Cappell, effective immediately.

The succession plan has been in the works for about a year, the company said.

Capell will remain with AstenJohnson and be available on a consulting basis for four months "to ensure a seamless transition," according to a written statement.

Frank will report to Bill Finn, chairman and former CEO.

North Charleston-based AstenJohnson is a global manufacturer of specialty fabrics and equipment for the papermaking industry. It has about 1,800 employees worldwide and traces its roots to an English wire business formed in 1790.

The company's new CEO had been president and chief executive officer since 2010 of Voith Hydro, a supplier of hydroelectric equipment based in York, Pa.

"I am excited to get started," Frank said in the statement. "The needs of our customers are varied and demanding. We have an enormous opportunity to serve them in new and different ways."

Finn called Frank "an exceptional talent."

"His depth of knowledge and experience will bring a fresh perspective to our business and growth prospects," Finn said. "His passion for growth, experience in paper-related industries and commitment to continuing the AstenJohnson culture will help us serve our customers even more effectively for years to come. I'm excited about what he will bring to AstenJohnson as we execute our evolving business strategy."

Cappell was with AstenJohnson for 30 years. He was promoted to president and CEO in October 2006.

His latest accomplishment was the recent purchase of Eagle Nonwovens Inc. and its 170,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in St. Louis. The acquired business makes synthetic fiber for the aerospace, automotive, health care, filtration and home furnishings industries.

Contact John McDermott at 937-5572