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 brands and retail concepts.

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 over 1,100 franchised stores - recently adding new locations in Colombia, Paraguay, Cameroon, India, Russia, Italy, Spain, France, Mexico and Austria.

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 and brands.

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.

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.

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 unnnoticed 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), and Business of Fashion 500 Hall of Fame (2014). 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 is Chief Executive Officer of the ALDO Group.  Most recently, he served as president of ALDO Group North America (AGNA) and ALDO Product Services (APS). 

He holds an honours degree in geography and history from Queen’s University and a master's degree in economics from Cambridge University. Prior to joining the ALDO Group, he spent several years working in real estate development in the area of commercial leasing, working for such companies as Devencore and Intrawest.

Over the course of David Bensadoun’s more than 20 years with the ALDO Group, he has overseen a cross-section of the company’s divisions. When he joined the team in 1995, David Bensadoun worked as a project manager in the sales and operations division, implementing the store opening system, a method still in use to this day. In 1997, in his role as director of corporate planning, he led the creation of the merchandise planning department. Then as the head of the IT department in 1999, David implemented RETEK. In 2001, he took on the role of general manager for the ALDO Group’s SPRING banner.

In 2009, by then group vice-president for ALDO, and having already overseen major growth in the U.S. and the U.K., David Bensadoun added the rest of the ALDO Group retail divisions to his portfolio. In 2012, he was named president of ALDO Global Retail (AGR) and ALDO Product Services (APS) and added real estate and e-commerce to his responsibilities. APS, the ALDO Group’s foray into wholesale, private label and licensing, became a $100 million company in a matter of 18 months.

David Bensadoun’s love for retail focuses on two areas: recruiting to find the best people and optimizing ALDO’s day-to-day processes to improve the business. His philosophy is simple: “Create a great process, then assign the best people you can find, and then leave them alone to get the job done.” Never one to micro-manage, he believes that his team needs autonomy and empowerment to be motivated for success. When asked what makes a great leader, David Bensadoun cites the trust and support of his world-class team. As well, he points to principles his father imparted: the importance of treating everyone with respect, possessing a passion for the product, and truly enjoying what you do.

David Bensadoun is an avid motorcyclist and racing enthusiast. He received a bronze medal at the World Enduro Championship in 2003, placed 5th in the Canadian Touring Car Championship in 2008, 2009 and 2010 respectively, and has ridden his motorcycle literally all around the world – from London to Capetown, from Caracas to Tierra del Fuego; in Madagascar, Italy, Greece and Turkey. He also achieved a life-long dream of completing the Dakar Rally - a grueling 14-day race from Argentina to Peru - becoming the first Canadian driver ever to do so in a car. Through his participation in that same race, David helped raise over $200,000 for AIDS research, a cause that the ALDO Group has long supported. Most recently, he took part in the Silk Way Rally, racing across 10,734km from Moscow to Beijing with Aldo Racing. Being the only team to represent Canada, the team finished in an impressive 12th place for their first time entering the competition. David Bensadoun is committed to a variety of causes including support for hospitals, youth programs and scientific research.

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.

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 US market and opened stores in over 100 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, the 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.