Josh Ayer Named CEO of H&V – Nonwovens Industry Magazine

After a multi-year succession process, H&V’s Board of Directors has selected Josh Ayer, H&V’s Chief Operating Officer, as the company’s new CEO. Ayer will succeed Val Hollingsworth, who is stepping down as CEO after 24 years – and after 42 years with the company. Hollingsworth will continue to chair H&V’s board.

Josh Ayer and Val Hollingsworth

“We are delighted to be able to look to Josh to lead H&V through our next chapter of growth and development,” said Hollingsworth. “He has been an outstanding leader during his years at H&V and will do a great job as CEO. H&V has had several non-Hollingsworth family CEOs over its long history, and we are proud to have seventh generation members of our family working for H&V. We know that Josh will continue to operate the business with the same values, long-term vision and family culture upon which H&V is built. The H&V Board and I look forward to working with him in the years to come. »

Ayer joined H&V in 2009 as vice president and general manager of the Asia-Pacific region, after 10 years at General Electric. He helped lead the development and growth of H&V’s business in Asia. In 2015, Ayer became president of the Engine and Industrial Filtration division, and in 2020 he took on the role of vice president and general manager of the Americas region of H&V. He officially became CEO at H&V’s Annual General Meeting of Shareholders on April 5, 2022.

“I am excited about the future of H&V and my new role within the company. It’s an incredible opportunity to help lead a truly innovative company as it moves forward,” says Ayer. “H&V has a lot of great people and great customers. We will continue H&V’s long-term commitment to be a values-driven company focused on innovation, technology and making a meaningful contribution to the world.

A sixth generation member of the Hollingsworth family, Val Hollingsworth first joined the company in 1976 as a night shift supervisor and production and plant manager. He became chairman in 1997 and CEO in 1998. Under Hollingsworth, H&V grew from a primarily regional business in the United States to a global company with 13 R&D and manufacturing facilities in strategic locations on three continents. He also kept H&V focused on innovation and guided the company’s strategic response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I am so grateful to our customers, employees and shareholders for supporting H&V so well over the years,” said Hollingsworth. “It has been an incredible journey for all of us at H&V. But despite our nearly 300-year history, H&V has always been a forward-looking company. Both Josh and I believe H&V is well positioned for the future and are excited about the opportunities ahead.