The Kadant Blog

An Interview with Karl Wilkinson, the New Managing Director at Kadant U.K. Ltd.

Karl Wilkinson SMKadant UK is proud to announce the appointment of Karl Wilkinson to the position of managing director. Karl has been with the company for 16 years and was previously responsible for engineering at Kadant Johnson Systems International and was commercial manager and operations manager at Kadant UK.

During his time with Kadant, he has implemented quality management systems, stream-lined manufacturing processes, and driven a customer-focused business model with technical services at the center of that methodology

H: You have been with Kadant UK for the past 16 years, tell me about your career path?

K: I started at Sappi Europe Fine Papers as an apprentice, then over time learned many new skills, gained an academic education, and held senior positions in operations, engineering, and project management. I experienced during my tenure at Sappi an enormous transformation as technologies improved within the paper industry.
Machines became wider, more efficient, faster, and customer product quality demands increased year on year.

I jumped at the chance of joining Kadant UK when the opportunity arose because of their company reputation for product quality and technical expertise world-wide. From that point forward I became involved in steam and condensate system design, fluid handling product lines, and then doctoring, showering, and filtration.

H: There are going to be lots of changes at Kadant UK, what are you looking forward to the most?

K: I made some immediate changes to re-structure research and development and operations management to create a new highly talented team to continue the excellent work being developed across internal functions. These included engineering, manufacturing, technical services, and internal projects all centered towards world-class customer service and enhanced product quality.

H: What is the most exciting part of your job?

K: The most exciting and fulfilling part of my job is the development of our people and providing a safe, positive, and inspiring culture whereby everyone has an opportunity to reach their true potential in whatever sector they so wish, becoming completely engaged with Kadant UK family.

H: What is the difference between a Manager and a Leader?

K: Leaders establish a vision, set direction, create value, are people focused, and inspire to achieve business goals and targets and then surpass them.

H: What was the last book you read?

K: Regeneration the Rescue of a Wild Land, by Andrew Painting.
It’s a book about hope whereby a huge Scottish estate which allows nature to return to its original state and how this improves biodiversity for the landscape and people working/living within this environment.

H: Can you tell me something about your life outside of Kadant UK?

K: I’m married with one daughter who has recently turned 21.
My hobbies include fell walking, bird watching, reading, spinning, gardening, and pilates.


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  • Written by:

    Helen Phillips

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