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Klein Tools announces leadership changes

Mathias (Mat) Klein III, chairman of the board of family-owned Klein Tools, will retire in June 2015 but will continue to serve on the company’s board of directors, The Lincolnshire, Ill.-based maker of high-quality hand tools since 1857 made the announcement Aug. 5. Upon Mat’s retirement after a 46-year career, current president Thomas R. Klein Sr. (Tom) will succeed him as chairman. Additionally, Mark Klein, vice president of domestic sales, and Thomas Klein Jr. (Tom Jr.), general manager of heavy infrastructure, will be promoted and serve as co-presidents of Klein Tools effective Jan. 1, 2015. “Under Tom’s leadership as president, Klein Tools not only survived the recession, it emerged stronger and became the undisputed leader in the hand tool industry,” Mat Klein said. “In his new role as chairman, Tom will be in a position to continue to help drive Klein Tools into the future.” During Tom’s tenure as president since 2006, Klein Tools’ manufacturing has moved forward with major investments, including the new Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center and heat treat facilities in Mansfield. Also under Tom’s leadership, the company has achieved significant growth through its focused efforts on international sales and acquisitions in Australia, Mexico and Brazil. In addition, the company has grown with the domestic acquisition of Heritage Cutlery (now Klein Cutlery) and Klein’s joint venture investment with UEI. As chairman, Tom will retain responsibility for finance, legal, corporate development and human resources.

Mark Klein will assume the new role of president of sales and marketing and will be responsible for global marketing, sales and customer service. He will also manage the company’s cutlery division in New York, Klein Cutlery and Klein Tools de Mexico affiliates. Mark Klein was named vice president domestic sales in 2012. He has been leading Klein’s domestic sales operations, including the development of strategic marketing initiatives, such as the company’s launch of the camouflage limited-edition pliers and the “Electrician of the Year” programs in 2013. Klein Tools has achieved double digit sales growth every year since Mark assumed the role of vice president domestic sales. Previously, Mark worked in various capacities developing new or underserved market segments for Klein, including HVAC, hardware, industrial, telecommunications and Canada. In addition, Mark has been accountable for one of the company’s affiliates, Klein Cutlery, which is the largest U.S. manufacturer of hot-forged scissors and shears. Tom Jr. will assume a new role as president of operations and research and development. He will be responsible for Klein Tools’ manufacturing, operations and new product development functions. He will also manage two of the company’s international affiliates, Civitella & Cia in Brazil and Mumme Tools in Australia.

Tom Jr. was named general manager of the company’s heavy infrastructure business unit in 2012. In this role, he has been responsible for the unit’s business functions including product development, sales and marketing. He has also been responsible for the company’s manufacturing activities at the company’s soft goods plant in Ft. Smith, Arkansas. The heavy infrastructure business unit has increased at a compound annual growth rate of more than 13 percent since Tom Jr. assumed the role of general manager. Prior to that, he worked in product development, primarily developing new products for the power utility market. “Mat and I feel strongly that Mark Klein, Tom Klein Jr. and the entire leadership team are ready for more responsibility to maintain the growth momentum and lead Klein Tools forward,” Tom Klein Sr. said. “Mark and Tom Jr. have committed to driving the organization forward through continued investment in R&D, people and world-class manufacturing processes, thus we feel now is the time to begin the transition.”

Betty Dillard  

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Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

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