Klein to take over as president of Kano Laboratories
Photo courtesy of Kano Laboratories

Klein to take over as president of Kano Laboratories

Kano Laboratories, a leading producer of branded penetrating oils and lubricants, including the iconic brand Kroil, announced a planned transition in the company’s leadership. Mark Klein, a 20-year veteran in the industrial MRO (maintenance, repair and operation) distribution and retail space, will take over as president. Klein, who will report directly to the Kano Board of Directors, succeeds Sevan Demirdogen.

Demirdogen assumed leadership of Kano Laboratories after Gryphon Investors, a middle market private equity firm, purchased the company in November 2020, as part of its strategy to build a leading platform in the branded specialty chemicals sector. This transaction was the first deal closed by Gryphon’s Heritage Fund team, a new small-cap fund offering launched by Gryphon in 2020.

Demirdogen was formerly group president in the Polymers and Fluids segment of Illinois Tool Works (ITW). Under Demirdogen’s leadership, Kano’s premier brand of penetrating lubricants, Kroil, has been made available through an MRO distribution network of more than 500 distributors, as well as retail and online stores. He will remain with the company as executive chairman of the board. 

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. He has deep experience and knowledge of the MRO distribution and retail channels. Prior to joining Kano Laboratories, he served as co-president of Klein Tools, a privately-owned company that manufactures premium hand tools for professionals and consumers around the world. With a brand reputation for quality and functionality, Klein Tools popular 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, operating partner at Gryphon Investors. 

“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. 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,” said Klein.