Aldo CEO David Bensadoun on New Deals, Bad Landlords & How AI Is Saving the Firm Millions

David Bensadoun is not what he appears.
The friendly, unassuming — somewhat professorial — executive harbors a wild side that involves riding motorcycles around the world and twice completing the 14-day Dakar Rally race from Argentina to Peru. (His was the first Canadian team to accomplish the feat in a car, in 2012.)
Similarly, as the son of footwear legend Aldo Bensadoun, he has spent his life in and around shoe stores. But the 47-year-old, who was named CEO of Aldo Group in March 2017, more resembles a modern tech entrepreneur than a traditional retailer.
His vision for the global firm is laser-focused on omnichannel innovation and corporate responsibility — phrases heard more often in Silicon Valley than on Fifth Avenue in New York.
“The most effective CEOs bring together insight, focus, decisiveness and optimism to inspire the people around them and make things happen,” said Neal Newman, president of Two Ten Footwear Foundation. “Add in a dose of honesty, integrity, a kind heart and a sharp mind — that’s David Bensadoun.”
David Bensadoun inside Aldo’s Montreal headquarters.
Since joining his family’s company in 1996, the younger Bensadoun has grown through the ranks, taking positions that trained him in all aspects of the operation, including retail

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