Russell Kohl is the president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Freud America, Inc., an industry-leading manufacturer and marketer of superior carbide cutting tools. Founded in 1960, Freud supplies a full line of high-quality cutting tools that includes saw blades, router bits, and shaper cutters.
Since joining Freud in 2000, Kohl has engineered the company’s strategic direction for outstanding operational performance, superior brand recognition, and impressive rise in stakeholder value. This period has been marked by an unprecedented growth resulting in a 20-fold increase in business and more than $200M in revenue. In addition to his US responsibilities, Kohl also manages the strategic direction and operations for Freud Mexico and Freud Canada.
Kohl’s extensive background in sales, marketing, and development has resulted in the successful launch of new brands and divisions for the company. Under Kohl’s leadership, Freud launched its premium line of construction cutting tools and most successful brand, Diablo. To date, Diablo, has won multiple awards including a two-time recipient of Home Depot’s prestigious “Merchandising Innovation” award. Kohl’s focus on innovation and his vision to “change the market forever” has elevated Diablo to reign as the top brand in the construction market.
Kohl formerly served as vice president of new product development, marketing and sales at Peachtree Doors and Windows, Atlanta. In this role, he oversaw a 30 percent growth in the company, while recruiting an energetic leadership team.
Kohl launched his career as marketing and sales manager at Black & Decker/DeWalt, working primarily on the company’s profitable launch of its “yellow tools” line. This brand became one of the most successful in the industry, growing into a billion dollar product line.
In his spare time, Kohl enjoys being a member of the Young President’s Organization (YPO) and volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, where he was honored with the North Atlanta Chapter’s “Rusty Nail” award. Recently, he served as the keynote speaker for the Southeast Security Leaders Summit.
Kohl earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Florida State University and holds an MBA from Loyola College of Business. He also studied in the Master of Science program at Johns Hopkins University.
Kohl resides in Atlanta, Ga., and has two children, Amelia and Ian.