Bruno Landesberg (August 8, 1920 - October 19, 2017): Pioneer of Sano Industries
Bruno Landesberg's life journey, marked by resilience, entrepreneurship, and a commitment to promoting culture, reflects the indelible mark he left on both the business world and the cultural landscape of Israel. His legacy lives on through his family and the enduring success of Sano Industries.
Born to Moshe and Eva in Chernovits, Bruno Landesberg faced adversity early in life when his father, a merchant and importer, passed away from a lung disease when Bruno was just two and a half years old. This tragedy left Eva Landesberg with limited resources to raise Bruno and his younger brother Genia. At the age of 14, Bruno moved to Bucharest, Romania.
In 1940, as the threat of Nazi occupation loomed, Bruno fled eastward with his brother and returned to Chernovits. There, he met his future wife, Raia, and in June 1941, they escaped together to the Soviet Union. Bruno initially settled in Saratov, where he pursued studies in literature, history, and economics at the university. Later, he moved to Buchara, where his son Alex was born.
In 1944, as World War II drew to a close, Bruno returned to Bucharest to complete his studies. He became involved with the emerging Communist movement in Romania and received recognition for his participation in the anti-fascist resistance as a member of the Communist underground. Bruno also translated several Russian literary works into Romanian. Concurrently, he worked for the Bucharest municipality and engaged in the textile business owned by his father-in-law. He even established a small textile factory, although it was eventually nationalized by the state.
On March 3, 1952, Bruno Landesberg immigrated to Israel with his wife and son, initially settling in the Shiler group. He worked on a banana plantation, participated in local theater, and organized salon dances. Later, the family relocated to Tel Aviv. Bruno began his career as a warehouse assistant at the Weizmann Institute of Science, then known as the "Science Corps." He advanced to the position of liaison officer between the Supply Corps and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
After three years in the Ministry of Defense, Bruno Landesberg shifted his focus to the cleaning product industry. He worked as a sales manager for "Kadima Chemicals Corporation," which later became "Klin." In 1958, he purchased his own home, which he rented to the company, after a dispute with the previous tenant. He acquired a distribution line and established the "Southern Marketing Company," becoming an independent entrepreneur.
During its early stages, the business faced challenges related to liquidity. Nevertheless, Bruno Landesberg supplemented his income with lectures on marketing and sales at the Israeli Management Center. These lectures earned him a scholarship for a five-month course in international marketing at Harvard University in the United States. In 1961, he returned from the United States and founded a factory in Bat Yam, where he, along with a small group of employees, manufactured floor cleaners, followed by naphthalene balls and air fresheners. In 1963, the company obtained a license for distributing 3M's "Scotch Brite" products, which gained high popularity in Israel.
In 1965, "Sano" was officially registered as a company and gradually achieved great success in the cleaning product industry. In 1982, it was listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.
In 1987, Bruno Landesberg was awarded the Industry Prize in the chemistry category.
Landesberg was a member of the Public Council of the Geneva Initiative and was known for his generous support of culture in Israel. Among other contributions, he donated to the Yiddishpiel Theater and the New Israeli Opera. In 1984, he, along with Hanan Zouz and Shlomo Ronli-Riklis, founded the Young Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition, he was an amateur tennis player and a member of the Honorary Council of Tennis Centers in Israel.
In 2011, Bruno Landesberg was diagnosed with lymphoma.
He was fluent in several languages, including French, German, and Hebrew.
Over the years, Bruno Landesberg integrated several of his descendants into the business. His eldest son, Alex, currently serves as the chairman, while his daughter Eva is also involved in the management. His granddaughter Ia Shachar, Eva's daughter, is responsible for export development, and his grandson Yuval, Alex's son, succeeded his father as CEO. His daughter Tamar, Alex's daughter, oversees development.
The family endured a tragic loss with the passing of Eva Landesberg. Following her death, her partner, Uri Bauman, sought to challenge her will, which bequeathed all her assets to her daughter, Ia Shachar. Ultimately, the court upheld the mother's will, and Ia Shachar became a shareholder in the company.