Kano Laboratories Names Distribution, Retail Veteran Mark Klein President

He formerly served as co-president of Klein Tools.

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NASHVILLE — Kano Laboratories, a market producer of branded penetrating oils and lubricants including Kroil, announced a planned transition in the company's leadership.

Mark Klein, a 20-year veteran in the industrial MRO distribution and retail space, will take over as president, reporting directly to the Kano board of directors. Klein succeeds Sevan Demirdogen, who will remain with the company as executive chairman of the board. Demirdogen assumed leadership of Kano after Gryphon Investors, a middle market private equity firm, purchased the company in 2020.

Klein is an accomplished executive with a track record of driving growth and product innovation with a diverse background in manufactured goods spanning industrial, professional and consumer end users, and deep experience and knowledge of the MRO distribution and retail channels. Prior to joining Kano, he served as co-president of Klein Tools, a privately owned company that manufacturers premium hand tools for professionals and consumers around the world. With a brand reputation for quality and functionality, Klein Tools is known for its popularity in the electrical and communications trades. Klein held a variety of functional positions at Klein, where he designed and led strategies that resulted in strong growth. 

"Mark brings a wealth of experience and proven results which will help launch Kano into its next phase of growth. His laser focus on customers and proven results through MRO distribution, retail and innovation gives us great confidence in his leadership and vision for the company, and I'm looking forward to partnering with him," said Craig Nikrant, Gryphon operating partner.

"I couldn't be more excited to join the Kano team and be part of an organization leading the Kroil brand, one of the most well-known and efficacious lubricating penetrants in the industry," Klein said. "I look forward to working with the team and the Board to maximize our presence in MRO distribution and retail as we look to accelerate our growth."

Under Demirdogen's leadership, Kano's premier brand of penetrating lubricants, Kroil, has been made available through an MRO distribution network of over 500 distributors, as well as retail and online stores. 

"Sevan supported our due diligence underwriting and originally stepped in at close as interim CEO, and has done an excellent job of driving strong financial performance and double digit growth at Kano during his tenure," Nikrant said. "We are thrilled that he will remain active in the business as executive chairman."

"I had the privilege to lead a great team of people who accomplished many things over the past two years. I'm very confident that Mark is the right leader to guide Kano in our next phase of growth, and I am eager to work with and support him as I transition to the board, according to our planned succession," Demirdogen said.

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