Key dates in the history of the European tool manufacturers’ association CEO:

First French – German meeting in Paris, discussion about, how to reconcile the activities of the European handtool manufacturers. The associations of UK, Sweden, Italy and Austria join.


Finalization of the first corporate project: comprehensive listing of handtools.

The First General Assembly took place in Paris (May 18th -20th, 1949). First meetings of the CEO professional sections: Machine saws, chisels, plane irons, pliers and carpenters‘ pincers, tinmen snips, bolt clippers and mechanical hand tools.

Official name of the tool manufacturer’s association: Comité Europeén de l‘ Outillage (CEO).

3rd July, constitutional meeting in Paris and official foundation of the CEO. The general secretariat was located in Paris.

The general secretariat moves to Remscheid (D). In the same year HERRAMEX, the Spanish association joins. The first formal General Assembly takes place in Nice, France (October 14th –15th ).

Approval of the first formal and legal statutes.

The Netherlands join CEO with their national association FME. New sections like “Tools for Woodworking Machines” “Vices”, “Anchor Fixings” and “Masonry Drills” were intro­duced, which mainly represent the machine tool and construction tool sector inside CEO.

First informal contacts to the Hand Tools Institute (HTI), the U.S. tool manufacturers‘ association. Discussions follow in subsequent years in Cologne as well as in Chicago during hardware shows.

Introduction of new statutes (2nd generation), which allow companies‘ direct memberships.

Introduction of new statutes (3rd generation) which regulate direct membership, subscription schemes and voting rights. Enlargement of the working group activities. The General Secretariat moves to Remscheid.

CEO becomes affiliated partner (“Bridgehead-member”) of ORGALIME, The European Engineering Industries Association.

Celebration of CEO´s 50th anniversary at the CEO conference in Rome.

The past CEO Presidents

1959 – 1972: Francois Peugeot (F), Outillage Peugeot

1972 – 1976: James Hugh Neill (GB), James Neill Ltd.

1976 – 1980: Giulio Amos (I), USAG

1980 – 1984: Hans Rauch-Christen (D), METABO

1984 – 1986: Walter Strasek (A), Stern-Werkzeuge

1986 – 1988: Michel Blanc (F), SAM

1988 – 1991: John J. Jewitt (GB), Footprint Tools

1991 – 1996: Günter Becker (D), VBW

1996 – 2000: Mario Cogliati (I), USAG

2000 – 2004: Anders Agren (S), SNA

2004 – 2008: Matthias Hoffmann (D), HAZET

2008 – 2012: Michel Laroche (F), MOB Outillage

2012 – 2017: Neill Brodey (UK), NORBAR Torque Tools

2017 - 2018: César Sainz de Diego (E), Rothenberger

since 2018: Wilhelm Hahn (D), Wiha