Bruno Landesberg: The Entrepreneur Who Built Sano

Bruno Landesberg: The Entrepreneur Who Built Sano -

Bruno Landesberg, born on August 8, 1920, and passing away on October 19, 2017, was an Israeli businessman and the founder and chairman of Sano, a prominent cleaning products company in Israel.


Landesberg was born in Chernivtsi (now in Ukraine) to Moshe and Lea. His father, a merchant and importer, passed away from a lung disease when Bruno was just two and a half years old. His father left behind some assets that allowed his mother, Lea, to raise Bruno and his younger brother, Genia. At the age of 14, he moved with his family to Bucharest.

In 1940, Bruno fled with his brother from the advancing Nazis and returned to Chernivtsi. There, he met his future wife, Raya, and in June 1941, they escaped together to the Soviet Union, initially settling in Saratov. In Saratov, he studied literature, history, and economics at the university and later moved to Bukhara, where their son Alex was born.

In 1944, towards the end of World War II, he returned to Bucharest and completed his studies. He became part of the communist movement that was forming in Romania and received recognition for his participation in the anti-fascist underground as a member of the communist resistance.

He also translated several works from Russian to Romanian. Landesberg worked for the Bucharest municipality and simultaneously worked in his father-in-law's textile business, where he also established a small textile factory. However, the factory was nationalized by the state.

On March 3, 1952, he immigrated to Israel with his wife and son. Initially, they settled in Kibbutz Shiller, where Landesberg worked in the banana groves, participated in local theater, and organized ballroom dances.

Later, the family moved to Tel Aviv. Landesberg began his career as a storekeeper at the Weizmann Institute of Science's research center, then known as the "Science Corps." He advanced to the position of liaison officer between the supply department and the IDF.

After three years, Landesberg left the Ministry of Defense and entered the world of cleaning products. He worked as a sales manager for Kedma Chemicals Corporation, later renamed Klin.

In 1958, he bought his home, which he used as collateral to become the company's distributor after a dispute with the previous distributor. He acquired a distribution network and established "The Southern Marketing Company," becoming an independent entrepreneur.

In the early years, the business faced financial difficulties, but Landesberg managed to support himself through lectures on marketing and sales management at the Israeli Management Center.

These lectures earned him a scholarship for a five-month specialization in international marketing at Harvard University in the United States. In 1961, after returning from the United States, he established a factory in Bat Yam, where he and a small group of workers produced cleaning products, such as floor wax and air fresheners. In 1963, the company received a license to distribute 3M's "Scotch-Brite" products, which gained high popularity in Israel.

In 1965, the company "Sano" was registered, and it gradually achieved significant success in the cleaning products industry. In 1982, it went public on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

In 1987, Bruno Landesberg received the Industry Award 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 supported the Yiddishpiel Theater and the New Israeli Opera. In 1984, together with Hanan Zusman and Shalom Ronli-Riklis, he established the Young Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. Additionally, he was an amateur tennis player and a member of the Honorary Council of Israeli tennis centers.

In 2011, he was diagnosed with lymphoma.

He spoke several languages, including French, German, and Hebrew.

Personal Life

Over the years, Landesberg involved several of his descendants in the family business. His eldest son, Alex, served as the deputy chairman and CEO until early 2011. His daughter, Eva, also served on the management team. His granddaughter, Iya, the daughter of Eva, is responsible for export development, and his grandson, Yuval, Alex's son, succeeded his father as CEO, previously serving as the vice president of marketing. His daughter, Tamar, serves as the head of development. He resided in Ramat Aviv.

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