To lead the expanded business unit, the board of directors has elected Wolfgang Wegener as vice president of Columbus McKinnon Corporation and managing director of Columbus McKinnon Europe.

Wegener, who was also named a member of the company’s executive committee, was previously operating group leader Yale Europe, former owner of Yale Industrial Products and, prior to that, managing director of Yale Industrial Products GmbH.

Approximately 13% of the company’s trailing 12-month consolidated net sales of $571.3 million were generated by this operation.  

CM president and CEO Timothy Tevens said: “Given our strategic focus on global growth and new products, expanding our European operations is the logical next step to leverage Yale’s very strong footprint there and the upcoming introductions of additional capacities of our new international-rated electric wire rope hoist line and other new products.”

He added: “This change, which integrates the Columbus McKinnon family of products under one sales entity in Europe, also supports our objective of expanding into emerging European markets which are undergoing rapid industrial development creating significant new demand for the kinds of products we manufacture.”

To further support the expansion of its European business, the company also named Robert Clare as European business development managing director and Hans-Herbert Greif as European new and emerging markets managing director.