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Kadant announces leadership transitions

February 14, 2019  By P&PC Staff

February 14, 2019 – Kadant Inc. has announced several new leadership appointments upcoming in 2019 as part of a succession plan to transition the duties of its retiring president.  

Effective April 1, 2019, Jeffrey L. Powell will become president of the company as the current president and CEO Jonathan W. Painter moves to executive chairman of the board of directors effective July 1, 2019. William A. Rainville, the company’s current chairman of the board of directors, has decided not to stand for reelection.

The succession plan is designed to retain the services of Painter for one year from the appointment of his successor as CEO. In his new position as executive chairman, Painter will continue to participate in strategic planning and acquisition activities, consult with management on operational matters, and be responsible for corporate governance matters. Painter is expected to continue as a director in a non-executive role after his retirement on June 30, 2020.


Powell has been a co-chief operating officer since March 2018 and an executive vice-president for six years with supervisory responsibility for the material processing group. He joined Kadant in 2008 and served in several capacities, initially having responsibility for the company’s acquisition-related activities. Prior to joining Kadant, Powell was the chairman and chief executive officer of Castion Corporation, a provider of sustainable wastewater treatment and recovery solutions. Prior to Castion, Powell held various management positions at Thermo Electron Corporation.

“I have personally known and worked with Jeff for more than 30 years since our early days at Thermo Electron,” says Painter. “I believe the board has made an outstanding choice in the selection of Jeff as CEO. I look forward to continuing to work with Jeff and the board to support our customers and employees and deliver value for our stockholders.”

The company also announced that Peter J. Flynn and Michael Colwell will each become a vice-president of the company effective July 1, 2019. Together, Flynn and Colwell will have supervisory responsibility for the company’s material processing group.

Flynn has been president of the company’s Kadant Black Clawson (KBC) subsidiary since 2003. KBC is part of the company’s papermaking systems segment and manufactures stock-preparation equipment primarily for the pulp and paper industry.

Colwell has been president of the company’s Kadant Carmanah Design (KCD) division and its predecessors since 2010. KCD is part of Kadant’s wood processing systems segment and designs and manufactures equipment for the oriented strand board industry.

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