William “Bill” F. Farley
Founder and Sole Owner, Farley Industries
Former Chairman and CEO at Fruit of the Loom
William F. Farley, also known as Bill, is the founder and serves as the Sole Owner of Farley Industries, a private holdings company in the Sears Tower in Chicago, which includes manufacturing of miscellaneous fabricated products for over 45 years. He founded Farley Industries in 1976 while working as an Investment Banker at Lehman Brothers.
Farley’s first acquisition was Anaheim Citrus Products Co. in 1976. Shortly thereafter, in 1977, he purchased a struggling manufacturing company, Baumfolder Corporation. After realizing that Baumfolder’s struggling management and manufacturing divisions needed some serious reworking, he quit his job at Lehman Brothers and moved to Ohio, where Baumfolder was located, to oversee the turnaround of the company. In 1982, he purchased NL Metals for USD 118 million—the first in a line of significantly larger acquisitions that he would make throughout the next decade.
His past employment includes Fruit of the Loom in which he served as the President and CEO from 1985 to 2000. During that time, Fruit of the Loom’s revenue grew dramatically, from USD 500 million to almost USD 2.5 billion.
Farley received his Juris Doctor’s degree from Boston College Law School and his Bachelor of Arts in Government from Bowdoin College.
About Farley Industries
William Farley founded Farley Industries in 1976 while working as an investment banker at Lehman Brothers. In the mid-1980s, Farley Industries grew to encompass numerous companies within the manufacturing, mining, and apparel industries, the largest acquisition of which was Northwest Industries in July 1985 for USD 1.4 billion. This acquisition brought Farley Industries national attention for its size and boldness. Though Farley Industries eventually sold most of its businesses within Northwest Industries, the company kept two of the most promising subsidiaries—Acme Boot Company and Fruit of the Loom Inc., which grew to be its largest and most successful subsidiary.