Jason Kent

Cobble has announced a wide range of senior appointments, including a new managing director, additional board members and top level managers. The U.K.-based company manufactures carpet tufting and weaving machinery.

Announcing the appointments, Group President Geoff Hemingway said, “Strengthening our senior management team will enable us to capitalize on this improving position and take advantage of new opportunities already identified by our market research.”

Jason J. Kenthas been appointed managing director of Cobble Tufting Systems. He takes over fromGeoff Hemingwaywho will now focus on his role as Group President, Spencer Wright Industries Inc. For the past four years, Kent has been deputy managing director based at the company’s headquarters in Blackburn and has also played a major role in developing Cobble’s rapidly expanding business in China.

“The recent award of a Master’s degree in Business Administration together with his extensive practical experience of tufting will prove an invaluable combination as Jason steers Cobble through the challenging times ahead,” Hemingway noted.

David Crabtreehas been appointed Managing Director of Crabtree Textile Machines which has been part of the Cobble Group since 1999. His appointment reflects the increasingly important contribution looms are making to sales, according to the company. In his new role, Crabtree will focus on developing the Group’s global weaving activities involving Axminster carpet production and the specialist looms originally supplied by another Cobble subsidiary, Wilson & Longbottom Ltd.

He will also explore and evaluate opportunities in the related and growing area of Geo-Textiles which are used in such diverse industries as construction, medicine and scientific research. Previously, Crabtree was involved in setting up Cobble’s factory in Suzhou, China, where he started with a bare shell and helped to build a growing and successful business.

Tony Steeljoined Cobble last year and becomes Group Technical Director and Managing Director of the specialist engineering subsidiary AMTRICobble. In his Group role, Tony will assume responsibility for all technical activities and lead the development program to enhance the performance of existing products, introduce new machines and apply advanced technology solutions across the complete range. At AMTRICobble he will head-up the specialist team of process and production engineers developing special purpose machines, robots and automated systems for a wide range of industries.

Tony Deakinhas been appointed Production Director at Cobble. With a background in the machine tool and aerospace industries, Deakin has already played leading role in helping Cobble evolve into a flexible manufacturing business. His primary task is balancing the demands for capacity from various sales teams while developing more advanced manufacturing processes. He will also play a key role in mentoring young employees as part of the company’s personnel development programme.

Kevin Malonetakes up the position of General Manager at Cobble's Suzhou factory in China, having spent the last six months as Operations Manager. In his new role he will be responsible for working with the Group’s global sales teams to develop new markets.

Johann Mullerhas been promoted to European Sales Manager. For the past 10 years he has been responsible for the sale of gauge parts and spares throughout Continental Europe. In his new position he now adds the complete range of Cobble machines to his sales portfolio and brings with him extensive experience of the carpet tufting industry in Europe.