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Atencio to retire from 8990 Holdings in Dec.

/ 05:21 AM August 01, 2017

Januario Jesus Atencio III

The longtime chief executive officer of 8990 Holdings, who grew the niche housing player into a major mass housing developer, is set to retire by yearend to focus on his personal endeavors.

Januario Jesus Atencio III announced his retirement during the company’s annual stockholders’ meeting yesterday, adding that the move was in line with his personal goal to step back from the company’s day-to-day operations at 55.

He is turning 56 on Jan. 2 next year.

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With this development, 8990 Holdings’ chief operating officer (COO) Willibardo Uy, 58, is seen taking over operations.

Uy joined the company two years ago after retiring as president of Phinma Properties.

“If you’re talking about industry experience, relationships in the industry, Willy actually has it as well. He has been able to work with our executives and our staff for two years,” Atencio told reporters after the meeting.

Atencio, who helped build 8990 Holdings from the ground up, without the backing of any conglomerate, to become a key mass housing player and a publicly listed company, said he informed his partners, relatives and family of his intention to retire at age 55 two years ago.

“Next year, I would be celebrating 25 years in the housing industry as I turn 56 in January. Realizing that I am at the homestretch of life and wanting to do something else, my partners and the board have agreed with my wish to retire on Dec. 31 this year,” Atencio said.

“And so I am happy, excited even to say goodbye to this industry that has given me a meaning[ful] life, and has prepared me for the next chapter of my book, whatever that may be,” he said.

Atencio said he would remain part of the board of 8990 Holdings, which aims to generate P10 billion in revenues this year.

During his presentation to shareholders, Atencio said the forecast for the mass housing industry was “cloudy with a strong chance of rain.”

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“But what is important to realize is that your company is, and has always been, able to adapt to change rather quickly, instituting the reforms and innovations needed to confront these issues courageously, allowing us to bounce back strongly, pushing the company to new and greater highs in the years to come,” he said.

In 2016, 8990 Holdings posted flat growth in gross sales and a decline of 4 percent in earnings.

This year has continued to be challenging but Atencio pointed out that revenues missed were not lost but only delayed due to the delays in obtaining permits to start projects.

8990 Holdings had also encountered rough patches in the past, first in 2004, and then in 2008, then the years 2010 and 2011 and this year, 2016.

“The common denominator it seems, is the change of government ushering in a new President, a new bureaucracy, and with it, a new housing policy. There is an emerging trend in our growth pattern of having a business cycle that starts and ends when a new administration is elected into power. What we have experienced in our history is a temporary disruption in our growth as a result of these political changes. And the change of government in 2016 is no exception,” he said. —DORIS DUMLAO-ABADILLA

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