If you’re a woodworker and you’re not familiar with Freud, the industry-leading manufacturer and marketer of some of the best cutting tools available, where the heck have you been? Freud produces the red-colored router bits and saw blades (although some of its products are sans color). The company falls under the BOSCH umbrella – the power-tool accessories segment was purchased in 2008.
Eight years prior to that date, Russell Kohl was named as president and CEO of Freud America, Inc. Sixteen years at the helm indicates that Kohl has a keen eye for the cutting-tool industry. The titles of president and CEO are not handed out like swag bags. They are earned. Kohl spent time at NPD, Marketing & Sales (Peachtree Windows & Doors) as vice president of new product development, and was the Sales & Marketing Manager at DeWalt. He has vast experience in sales, finance, operations, marketing and product development– the last two, as he admits during the interview, are his areas of expertise.
We’ll admit that the interview begins with a small amount of Freud “cheering.” That’s due in part to Kohl’s passion for the company and the products it develops. But if you’re not familiar with Freud products, his short definitions quickly clue you in to what the company is all about. Plus, Kohl’s insight into the industry is interesting, informative and eye-opening.
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