leaders

At the ALDO Group, we know that our strength lies in our people – from sales associates to purchase order coordinators to directors of marketing, every associate contributes to the success and growth of the company.

After over 40 years, we have remained a private company, still guided by the man who created it all – Aldo Bensadoun. He has curated a team of the best and brightest leaders in the industry, who have kept true to his original vision of creating a company built around ethics, compassion and understanding the customer in order to offer them the best possible products and services every day.

Click on the photos below to read the biographies of our executive team.

Aldo
Bensadoun

"SUCCESSFUL COMPANIES BUILD ON THEIR FOUNDING CULTURE AND TRADITIONS WHILE LOOKING AHEAD TO THE FUTURE."

Aldo Bensadoun, celebrated Canadian business leader and philanthropist, is the founder of the ALDO Group. A privately held, Montreal-based company established in 1972, the ALDO Group is internationally renowned as a leader in footwear and accessories brands, as well as in wholesale and Omni-Channel retailing.

The son of a shoe merchant and grandson of a cobbler, Aldo Bensadoun completed his primary and secondary education in France, studied at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York and capped off his studies at McGill University in Montreal. A degree in Economics led him to a marketing research position that, as serendipity would have it, had Mr. Bensadoun doing a project for a regional shoe chain. Eventually, the combination of his inherent understanding of the shoe business, passion for creative freedom and trailblazing spirit, led him to open his own company.

Today, the ALDO Group operates close to 900 retail stores across Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Ireland, under three distinct brands: Aldo Call It Spring and GLOBO. Specializing in footwear and accessories, the ALDO Group is dedicated to the design and production of high quality, trend-driven, and accessibly priced fashion, season after season.

Internationally, the ALDO Group has successfully expanded into over 100 additional countries with more than 3,000 points of sale - recently adding new locations in Canary Islands, Austria, Vietnam, Qatar, South Korea, Indonesia and Mexico.

From the on-set, Mr. Bensadoun has had a people-first approach, to ensure that every person is afforded the opportunity to reach his or her full potential. The ALDO Group, with its focus on human development, has established itself as an industry leader in recognition and incentive programs by acknowledging the distinguished achievements of its people.

According to Aldo Bensadoun, "Successful companies build on their founding culture and traditions while looking ahead to the future." He believes that to be successful, one must understand the customer and make them feel good through the products and services that are offered. It is this simple, yet profound philosophy that has fuelled the constant innovation of the ALDO Group's retail concepts, brands and e-comm platforms.

In addition to his involvement with various industry associations such as the Retail Council of Canada, the International Council of Shopping Centers and the National Retail Federation, he is a board member of Aritzia - a Canadian fashion brand with increasing international and celebrity appeal, and Hope and Cope - a Montreal-based, non-profit organization that has served as a model for its unique psychosocial approach to cancer care.

Long before the term was known, Mr. Bensadoun was determined to make corporate social responsibility and citizenship a core element of his business, placing a premium on working to enrich the communities in which we live and work. As a Canadian for whom citizenship was not a birthright, he is grateful for the opportunities made possible by this country. It is a common occurrence for Mr. Bensadoun, along with work colleagues and friends, to participate in fundraisers and volunteer their time for community and global causes. Whether in education, social welfare, medicine or the arts, the act of giving back has always been second nature for Mr. Bensadoun.

Most notably, the ALDO Group joined the fight against AIDS in 1985 long before it was fashionable, making it one of the first companies to openly support the cause. The company's commitment to the fight against AIDS has generated over 10 million dollars in donations to various AIDS organizations and charities around the world.

In May 2017, the Bensadoun Family Foundation announced a donation to McGill University to develop the Bensadoun School of Retail Management: an inter-disciplinary, state-of-the-art school dedicated to all facets of the retail industry. In addition to the school, this donation will be used to fund student scholarships, hire new professors and establish a research chair in retailing. Mr. Bensadoun has been recognized for his lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation; in 2011 he was appointed as a Companion to the Order of the Business Hall of Fame and in 2012, he was named as an Officer of the Order of Canada. He also received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and was awarded an honorary doctorate degree (Doctor of Laws honoris causa) from McGill University. Mr. Bensadoun’s accomplishments did not go unnoticed prior to these tributes. In 1986, he was named International Client of the Year for Outstanding Customer Service, and over the next 20 years he was honoured with many other accolades including: Two/Ten Foundation’s Shoe Person of the Year (1996), Award of Distinction from Concordia University (1997), a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Retail Council of Canada (2000), an Award of Distinction from Ryerson University (2002), a Management Achievement Award from McGill University (2003), Marketer of the Year (2005), a Visionary in Retail Innovation (2007), Business of Fashion 500 Hall of Fame (2014), Philanthropist by Excellence (2017) and Cercle des grands entrepreneurs du Québec (2018). And yet in the face of all this acclaim, Mr. Bensadoun has remained as unpretentious and sincere as ever.

In fact, despite the meteoric rise to international success and continued growth of the ALDO Group, the man behind the brand - its founder, its namesake - remains one of the kindest, down-to-earth, and generous people one will ever have the good fortune to meet.

A selection of some of the healthcare and educational institutions of which Mr. Bensadoun is an active member and supporter:

McGill University

Sir Mortimer B. Davis - Jewish General Hospital

Mount Sinai Hospital

Advisory board of the Faculty of Management of McGill University

The Montreal Heart Institute

The Montreal Symphonic Orchestra

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Centraide

The Canadian Cancer Society

Montreal Children's Hospital

David
Bensadoun

"MONTREAL IS A FANTASTIC PLACE TO BE - MULTIPLE LANGUAGES AND CULTURES, A STRONG TRADITION ROOTED IN BUSINESS AND A FANTASTIC QUALITY OF LIFE FOR OUR TEAM."

DAVID BENSADOUN 

Chief Executive Officer of the ALDO Group

David became the fourth generation of his family to work in the shoe business when he joined the ALDO Group in 1996. The tradition dates back to his great-grandfather, who was a cobbler in Algeria in the 1800s. David is a first-generation Canadian born and raised in Montreal. His mother hails from Scotland and earned a one-way ticket to Canada as part of a Commonwealth immigration program. David’s father took a longer route, moving from Morocco to France to the US before landing in Montreal.

A lover of geopolitics and a real history buff, David holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) with concentrations in Geography and History from Queen’s University and an MPhil in Land Economics from Cambridge University. Prior to joining the ALDO Group, David spent several years working in real estate development in the areas of commercial leasing and resort development. 

David was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the ALDO Group in April 2017. Prior to becoming CEO, he spent two decades working in almost every corner of the business, from Operations to IT to Buying. In 2001, he took his first leap as an executive leader, heading the Call It Spring brand, where he tripled profits in a two-year period. Soon afterwards, David moved to the Aldo brand where he led the second wave of expansion in the US, opening 250 stores in just three years.

David played a key role in the ALDO Group’s omnichannel journey by leading several innovative in-store technology projects, improving the customer experience and using the eComm platform to its full extent. 

In 2010, wanting to leverage the ALDO Group’s expertise in fashion footwear, David created ALDO Product Services (APS). This wholesale division was created to serve other retailers and quickly became a $100 million business in a matter of just 18 months. By 2017, APS proudly served many of the world’s largest retailers and (fun fact) helped them sell $1 billion worth of shoes. 

David has also been an agent of change within the company, pioneering new business models and evolving core processes. His mantra, “make a big company feel small”, really embodies his leadership style, which translates into three key actions: be kind to ourselves and each other, strive for simplicity and make processes people-friendly. 

As CEO, David has been driven since day one to elevate the company’s culture and to put into words why its people do what they do – their purpose. He built a team that looked at the DNA of its people; together they studied the company’s history and heritage and used its values as a foundation to define the ALDO Group’s purpose: A journey to create a world of love, confidence, and belonging.

A forward-thinking leader with progressive ideas, David’s commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility is one that stems from the ALDO Group’s values of Love, Respect and Integrity and cascades throughout all levels of the company. With this in mind and with the move towards a low carbon economy already underway, David has committed the ALDO Group to do its part to reach its global imperative. Under his direction the company became the first fashion footwear and accessories company in the world to be certified as climate neutral for its offices and stores.

David and his wife Isabelle are parents to Logan, Sloan and Connor and reside in Montreal, Quebec. He is a firm believer in hands-on philanthropy and he has succeeded in pairing two of his greatest passions: his drive to give back and rally racing, by participating in a series of international racing events that helped raise over $200,000 for AIDS research. He and his wife are also dedicated to several charities, with the bulk of their efforts going towards improving education and health.


Norman
Jaskolka

"ENSURE A CONSISTENT BRAND IDENTITY AND CONSUMER EXPERIENCE ACROSS ALL CHANNELS AND WORLDWIDE."

Norman Jaskolka is President of ALDO Group International and Deputy Chairman of the ALDO Group. He joined the ALDO Group as vice-president of corporate planning in 1995, after a 20-year career in accounting at Ernst & Young, where his areas of practice included taxation, business valuations and corporate finance. In 1997, he was awarded the title of Fellow of the Order of Chartered Accountants of Quebec in recognition for services and leadership in the accounting profession. He completed his undergraduate degree at McGill University in 1976 and in 1978, attended the MBA program at Harvard University.

Norman Jaskolka joined the ALDO Group as vice-president of corporate planning in 1995, after a 20-year career in accounting at Ernst & Young, where his areas of practice included taxation, business valuations and corporate finance. In 1997, he was awarded the title of Fellow of the Order of Chartered Accountants of Quebec in recognition for services and leadership in the accounting profession. He completed his undergraduate degree at McGill University in 1976 and in 1978, attended the MBA program at Harvard University.

Jaskolka’s introduction to the world of business came at a young age; as a child he routinely accompanied his father, a one-shop retailer, on weekly excursions to collect accounts from the neighborhood clientele. Jaskolka credits his parents – both Holocaust survivors – with having instilled in him a deep sense of responsibility, integrity, and the determination to be industrious every day.

In 1995, while he was a partner at Ernst & Young, Jaskolka was convinced by Aldo Bensadoun to join the family. This move awarded him the opportunity to apply his accounting skills in a new environment and required him to learn about something brand new to him: shoes and retail. Though this career change was a big risk, it paid off. When asked how he knew that moving to the ALDO Group was the right choice, Jaskolka points to the passion and dedication of the people inside the company. He says, “Today our team is professional in the truest sense of the word; their attitudes and respect for the diversity of our countries and cultures, along with their desire and drive, to do the job with pride and respect for everyone.”

In 2000, Norman Jaskolka assumed responsibility for the conception, development and operations of international business for the ALDO Group. Since that time the company has established itself firmly in the U.S. market and opened stores in over 95 countries around the globe, including flagship stores in strategic markets in Europe and Asia. In 2011, he was named president of ALDO Group International.

Jaskolka is a frequent lecturer and speaker on the development of international retail. In 2007, he joined the McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management Advisory Board. He has spoken at the World Retail Congress in Barcelona in 2007 and 2008; in Berlin in 2010 and 2011, and at the National Retail Federation in New York City in 2010 and 2013. Jaskolka is also a member of the Advisory Board of the World Retail Congress. His insight into the development of international retail brands was featured with a fully devoted chapter in the book “The Art of Being Chosen – Secrets of Success From the Giants of Retail,” written by British author Martin Butler and published in October 2010. In May 2012, he was appointed to a task force to revitalize, sustain and develop the fashion industry in Montreal and in Quebec by the minister of economic development, innovation and export.

Outside the office, Jaskolka is an avid golfer, tennis player and jogger. He is devoted to community organizations including the Federation CJA; Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre (of which he is formerly the president); the Old Brewery Mission; and The Sheela Bal Bhavan Home For Girls in India, which provides care, life skills and educational opportunities. He is married and has two daughters, of whom he is enormously proud.