Avon, Ohio — John Kahl, CEO of the Avon-based Consumer & Craftsman Group of Shurtape Technologies LLC, the company best known for Duck brand duct tape and FrogTape brand painter's tape, will end his career there at the end of the year.
The company said in a Dec. 15 news release that Kahl will retire effective Dec. 31. That date will mark a close to a 36-year run for Kahl, 58, at Shurtape (formerly ShurTech Brands) that, as the company put it in the release, "encompassed not only two changes in ownership and countless new brand introductions and product innovations, but also a virtually uninterrupted series of sales and profit records, as well as strategic global expansions of the company's brands and business within the United Kingdom, Germany and Australasia."
Upon Kahl's retirement, Vuk Trivanovic, CEO of the Hickory, N.C.-based Industrial and Engineered Solutions Groups of Shurtape, "will expand his role and responsibilities as CEO to encompass the full scope of Shurtape's global business," the company said in the release.
Additionally, Shurtape announced it has extended its lease agreement with ILPT Avon LLC for seven years. The company said the Avon operation "is the central point" for the Consumer & Craftsman Group, which markets home and office products under the Duck, FrogTape, T-Rex, Painter's Mate and Shurtape brands.
"This lease extension is validation of our long-term commitment to Avon and of our continued investment in Shurtape's Ohio-based workforce," Trivanovic said in a statement. "We're proud of our Ohio roots and look forward to building on our long history here."
Shurtape says on its website that it has about 1,400 employees in 13 facilities across the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Mexico, Peru, Denmark, Australasia, United Arab Emirates and China. A company spokeswoman wrote in an email that the Avon operation is about 645,000 square feet and has 343 employees.
The company in the release noted that Kahl began his career in the sales department for Duck brand at Manco Inc., then led the company as it transitioned to Henkel Consumer Adhesives and stayed at the helm when it merged with Shurtape in 2009, eventually forming the Consumer & Craftsman Group. He began his tenure as CEO in 2001.
Kahl said in a statement: "Reflecting on my career — and the history of the business, which started with my father, Jack — we have achieved a lot over the last five decades, including our recent celebration of the 50-year milestone since our founding as Manco Inc." He said "the timing feels right to start my next chapter, and with that, a new chapter for Shurtape." Kahl added that he and Trivanovic "worked together closely and collaboratively over the past several years, so this is a natural progression for the company."
Trivanovic joined Shurtape in 2015 as chief operating officer. In February 2020, he assumed overall leadership of the Industrial and Engineered Solutions Groups.
Earlier this year, Kahl and Trivanovic joined the board of directors of Shurtape's parent company, STM Industries. Both will continue to serve in that capacity.