Benchmade founder and BLADE Magazine Cutlery Hall of Fame® member, Les de Asis, is stepping down as head of day-to-day operations of the Oregon City-based knife company. His son, Jon, will step into that role, effective Nov. 5, 2018. It marks the first significant changing of the guard in the 31-year-old Benchmade, although Les will remain on in strategic positions as CEO and chairman.
The following release from Benchmade explains the transition in detail.
Knife-industry icon Les de Asis, founder of Benchmade, has announced he is handing responsibilities for daily operations and leadership to his son, Jon deAsis, who has been promoted to president of the family-owned business. Jon will oversee a team of nearly 400 employees in the Oregon City, OR, headquarters and manufacturing facility, which produces a range of premium knives for the hunting, tactical, enthusiast and outdoor recreation markets. Les de Asis will maintain his role as CEO and Chairman of the Board, guiding the company’s overall strategy and direction.
Jon deAsis grew up with the Benchmade brand, spending his life learning the family business and preparing himself through various roles within and outside of the company. Prior to taking on this new position, Jon spent three years as the vice president of operations at Benchmade, overseeing the brand’s production and rapid growth in Oregon City. During his tenure Benchmade continued to upgrade and strengthen its manufacturing and service capacity in order to provide the highest level of service to its customers.
“I am humbled and overjoyed to have Jon move into this role and feel that this is a great step forward for the organization,” said Les de Asis. “The company and family at Benchmade have been my life’s work since we opened our doors in 1987. Nothing means more to me than the passion, quality, commitment and energy each and every member of our team has dedicated to building the best knives in the world. I know that Jon is the right choice to help continue that drive well into the future and bring Benchmade to a new generation of customers.”
Benchmade has posted eight consecutive years of double-digit growth. The company operates out of a state-of-the-art facility with more than 144,000 square feet of manufacturing space producing products for professionals and enthusiasts alike. The company produces 60 product lines including popular items that have been on the market since the early 1990s.
“I couldn’t be more proud and excited to continue building on my father’s work. Benchmade is a shining example of how a U.S.-based manufacturing operation can continue to thrive by creating premium-quality, highly coveted products with a relentless focus on progress,” said Jon deAsis. “The talent we have assembled in Oregon City is second to none and I’m thrilled to be working with such a strong team in continuing to grow the business.”
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