Benchmade Founder’s Son Takes on New Role as Company President

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Benchmade Founder Les de Asis is stepping down as President of the company, to be replaced by his son Jon deAsis. The younger deAsis tells us to expect Benchmade to build on its recent successes as the second generation of leadership in the 31-year old company takes the helm.

Les de Asis is a legendary figure in the knife world. He guided Benchmade since its humble beginning as a maker of balisongs in California to its modern incarnation as a West Coast cutlery giant. Although he is handing over the Presidency to his son, he’s remaining hands-on as the company CEO and Chairman of the Board. Jon deAsis assumes his new role after three years as Vice President of Operations. “Seeing this company intentionally mature over time has helped create a passion for growth in both my business and personal endeavors,” he tells us. “I have been shaped by our strong family culture, my wonderful colleagues, and my father’s drive for continuous improvement.”

Benchmade’s strong performance in recent years is something that deAsis is acutely aware of. 2017 and 2018’s fresh, creative lineups represent a canny ability to build on trends in the knife industry, as they did with the modern traditional Proper; they’ve also targeted users outside of the knife community with knives like the ultralight Bugout. deAsis tells us that he wants to continue the string of impressive achievements. “With such a solid foundation and aligned mindset, we look forward to continuing our already impressive momentum to deliver the best products and services to our customers and partners worldwide.”

He’s also careful to acknowledge that there are plenty of risks in the knife business. He aims to control the company’s growth as Benchmade moves into 2019. “Managing mindful growth has been our general theme from the beginning,” deAsis explains. “We have the same challenges as other companies, but strive to overcome them our way; staying true to the brand, our culture, and ourselves.” Where will the company be this time next year? “You will see Benchmade become more intentional as we aggressively pursue our objectives in our market while striving to exceed customer expectations at every touch point. We are all very excited for a fun and fulfilling journey in 2019!”

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