Kito of Japan produces 30,000 electric chain hoists a year and a 150,000 manual and lever hoists, generating $220m in sales last year, aided by strongly performing subsidiaries in North America and China.

Until 2003, Kito was a publicly listed company with 25% of the shares held by the Kito family. Now it is a subsidiary of US venture capital group Carlyle, but there will be no culture gap between the American owners and the American-educated president of the company.

Yoshio Kito, grandson of the founder, took over from his uncle Shinjiro as president on 1 January 2006. At the same time, Shinjiro Kito moved up to chairman, a position previously held by Yoshio’s father Ryoichiro Kito.

Yoshio Kito joined the company in 1988 after graduating from the University of Utah, Salt Lake City in the USA and training in accountancy in the States. He has degrees in both engineering and business.