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Saul Ashkenazi, Founder of SDI, Dead At 90


Saul E. Ashkenazi,
founder of SDI Technologies
and its affiliates, KIDdesigns
and HTI Industries, died
last month at the age of 90.

Ashkenazi co-founded SDI
Technologies in 1956 under its
original name, Realtone Electronics,
which later became
Soundesign in 1968. He served
the company as chairman and
CEO from 1956-1985, and as chairman of the Executive
Committee from 1986-2010.

Under Ashkenazi’s leadership the company introduced
several new product categories, including one of the world’s
first pocket transistor radios, the audio rack system, and the
combination telephone/clock radio, SDI said in a statement.

Ashkenazi, with his brother Ely, also took the company
public twice to support its growth initiatives. In 1994, Ashkenazi,
along with his brother Ely, was an honoree at the
Consumer Electronics Association’s 50th Anniversary for
his historic achievements in the CE industry.

Today, SDI has a leading market share position in the
iPod/iPhone/iPad audio electronics market under the
iHome brand.

Ashkenazi was also involved in numerous charities, such
as Yeshiva University’s scholarship fund; was a co-founder
of the Jewish Communal Fund; and introduced Israeli
Bonds into the local N.Y. and N.J. Jewish communities. He
also donated 56 acres of land in N.J., where the Hillel Yeshiva
preschool, elementary, and high schools now stand.

He is survived by his wife Sally, whom he was married
to for close to 60 years; his son Ezra, the current president
and CEO of SDI; daughters Carol, Joyce and Lisa; brother
Ely, presently the chairman of the executive committee
of SDI; sisters Sara, Julie and Ruth; and his grandchildren
and great-grandchildren.