Russell Kohl is the president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Diablo/Freud Tools an industry-leading manufacturer and marketer of superior cutting tools and portable power tools. Founded in 1960, Diablo & Freud supplies a full line of high-quality power tool accessories that includes saw blades, router bits, reciprocating blades, shaper cutters, SDS-Plus and SDS-Max hammer drill bits, hole saws, self-feed bits, impact step bits, sandpaper, bonded abrasives, screwdriving bits, and forstner bits. The corporation owns and operates the most innovative and technologically advanced manufacturing facilities in Italy, Switzerland, Germany, China, the United States and more, thus, consistently delivering premium quality products.
Since joining Diablo/Freud Tools in 2000, Kohl has engineered the company’s North America (NA) strategic direction, delivering outstanding operational performance, superior brand recognition, and impressive rise in stakeholder value. This period has been marked by an unprecedented growth, resulting in a 60x increase in business. In addition to his NA responsibilities, Kohl also assists in Diablo/Freud Tool’s overall global strategy and manufacturing direction.
Kohl’s extensive background in sales, finance, marketing, operations, and product development has resulted in the successful launch of new brands and divisions for the company. Under Kohl’s leadership, Diablo/Freud Tools launched its premium line of construction cutting tools and its most successful brand, Diablo Tools.
To date, Diablo Tools has won multiple awards, including a two-time recipient of Home Depot’s prestigious “Merchandising Innovation” award; the “Hottest Tool” from Wood Magazine; a four-time winner and current holder of Home Depot’s “Partner of the Year” award; and Sphere 1’s respected “Outstanding Cooperation Award,” which has only been presented to three recipients over twenty years. Plus, Diablo Tools has been recognized six times by Home Depot in the “Top 10 Finalist for Merchandising Innovation Award” for a variety of its cutting tools; as well as being a multi-year winner of Sphere 1’s “Vendor of the Year” award and its “Gateway for Growth Supplier of the Year” award.
Kohl’s focus on innovation and his vision to “change the market forever” has elevated Diablo/Freud Tools to reign as the top brands in the construction, industrial, woodworking, MRO, and MEP markets.
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.
At the beginning of his career, Kohl held successful positions in sales, marketing, and product development with the Dewalt division of Black & Decker for 10 years. While working primarily on the company’s profitable launch of its “yellow tools” line, this brand became one of the most thriving in the industry at the time, growing into a billion-dollar product line.
Outside of the office, Kohl brings his energy and work ethic to several projects, including being a member of the Young President’s Organization (YPO); and actively involved with the Atlanta based non-profit, Children Helping Children (CHC). In addition, he serves on the Mount Vernon Presbyterian School board in Atlanta, Ga.; Metro Atlanta’s Chamber of Commerce Board of Advisors; and Florida State University’s Board of Governors (College of Business) and the Foundation Board.
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. In his free time, Kohl enjoys time on the beach with family and friends; sipping fine wine; competing in physical activities including cross-fit HIIT and running; participating in various outdoor activities and water sports; and spending time with his two children, Amelia and Ian.