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Arnold Kammerling, former CKI Chairman and Managing Director, passes away at 88

Carl Kammerling International (CKI) has announced the passing of Arnold Kammerling, the company's former Chairman and Managing Director.

Carl Kammerling International (CKI) has announced the passing of Arnold Kammerling, the company’s former Chairman and Managing Director.

As the last surviving member of his generation within the Kammerling family, Arnold died peacefully on January 29, 2024, at the age of 88. 

Arnold’s tenure with CKI began in 1956, significantly impacting the company’s evolution. Originally a general hardware tool supplier, under Arnold’s direction, CKI evolved into a brand for professional and electrician tools.

Founded in 1904 in Germany by the Kammerling family, CKI has been a notable name in hand tool manufacturing for over a century. Arnold, born in Wuppertal in 1935, experienced the challenges of World War 2 first hand when his family’s home and business were destroyed in an RAF bombing raid. In 1950, the family moved to Pwllheli, Wales, marking the beginning of the company’s global headquarters in the region.

A graduate of The London School of Economics, Arnold committed his career to CKI, starting as an apprentice and becoming the company’s leader following his father’s death at just 32. He played a crucial role in the company’s growth until his retirement in 2020.

Arnold’s vision led CKI to become a key supplier to independent retailers across Europe, significantly expanding its workforce to 120 and reaching over 20,000 stockists in more than 40 countries worldwide. His emphasis on quality and durability was encapsulated in the C.K Tools’ ‘Friend for Life’ strapline, highlighting his belief in the lasting value of quality over price.

In recognition of his contributions to Welsh industry and economic prosperity, Arnold was awarded an MBE in 1993 and named Businessperson of the Year at the Daily Post’s Achievement Wales Awards in 2004.

Despite his global achievements, Arnold maintained a strong connection to his German heritage and will be laid to rest in Wuppertal.

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