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Velcro BVBA
Privately-held company
Founded1952 Edit this on Wikidata
FounderGeorge de Mestral
Area served
Key people
  • Bob Woodruff (CEO)
  • Dirk Foreman (President, Velcro North America)
  • Norbert Nieleck (President, Velcro EMEA)
  • Paulo Garutti (President, Velcro Latin America)
  • Frank Liao (President, Velcro APAC)
ProductsHook-and-loop fasteners and other products
Number of employees

Velcro is a privately-held company, founded by Swiss electric engineer George de Mestral in the 1950s, that produces fasteners and other products[clarification needed]. It is known for being the original manufacturer of hook-and-loop fasteners.


Velcro, invented by de Mestral

Swiss electrical engineer George de Mestral invented his first touch fastener when, in 1941, he went for a walk in the woods and wondered why burdock seeds clung to his coat and dog. He discovered it could be turned into something useful.[2] He patented it in 1955, and subsequently refined and developed its practical manufacture until its commercial introduction in the late 1950s.

The fastener consisted of two components: a lineal fabric strip with tiny hooks that could "mate" with another fabric strip with smaller loops, attaching temporarily, until pulled apart.[3] Initially made of cotton, which proved impractical,[4] the fastener was eventually constructed with nylon and polyester.[5]

De Mestral gave the name Velcro, a portmanteau of the French words velour ("velvet") and crochet ("hook"),[6][7] to his invention as well as to the company he founded.

The company continues to manufacture and market the fastening system.

Company leadership[edit]

From 2011 to 2017, Scott Filion served as President of Velcro Americas. In 2014, he also served as interim CEO, replacing Alain Zijlstra.[8][9]

Fraser Cameron served as CEO from 2014 until 2018.[10][11]

In January 2018, Robert "Bob" Woodruff, previously associated with Alex and Ani and Nike, was appointed CFO.[12] In January 2019, he was appointed CEO.[13]

In January 2018, Paul Garutti was appointed President of Velcro Latin America. He replaced Dirk Foreman who was appointed President of North America in 2017.[14]


  1. ^ "Company Information". Velcro. Velcro BVBA. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  2. ^ Suddath, Claire (15 June 2010). "A Brief History of: Velcro" – via
  3. ^ "Velcro". Merriam Webster. Retrieved 10 May 2008.
  4. ^ Strauss, Steven D. (December 2001). The Big Idea: How Business Innovators Get Great Ideas to Market. Kaplan Business. pp. 15–18. ISBN 978-0-7931-4837-0. Retrieved 9 May 2008.
  5. ^ Schwarcz, Joseph A. (October 2003). Dr. Joe & What You Didn't Know: 99 Fascinating Questions About the Chemistry of Everyday Life. Ecw Press. p. 178. ISBN 978-1-55022-577-8. Retrieved 2008-05-09. But not every Velcro application has worked ... A strap-on device for impotent men also flopped.
  6. ^ "Velcro." The Oxford English Dictionary. 2nd ed. 1989.
  7. ^ Stephens, Thomas (4 January 2007). "How a Swiss invention hooked the world". Retrieved 9 May 2008.
  8. ^ "Velcro Industries N.V. and Velcro Group Corporation Appoint Scott Filion as Interim CEO". Velcro BVBA. 24 September 2014. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  9. ^ Cote, Mike (26 July 2017). "Velcro lays off 100 employees in Manchester, Somersworth". New Hampshire Union Leader. Manchester. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  10. ^ "VELCRO Companies Appoints Fraser Cameron as President and CEO". Boston: Velcro BVBA. 1 December 2014. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  11. ^ "Fraser Cameron". LinkedIn. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  12. ^ "Robert Woodruff Joins Velcro Companies as Chief Financial Officer". Boston, MA: Velcro BVBA. 19 January 2018. Archived from the original on February 20, 2019. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  13. ^ "Velcro Companies Appoints Bob Woodruff CEO". Manchester, NH: Velcro BVBA. 29 January 2019. Archived from the original on February 20, 2019. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  14. ^ "Velcro Companies Hires New President for Latin America". Boston, MA: Velcro BVBA. 22 January 2018. Retrieved 19 February 2019.

External links[edit]