Almendras rejoins Ayala conglomerate
Technocrat Jose Rene Gregory Almendras has returned to the Ayala group to head its infrastructure business after serving as a Cabinet member under the Aquino administration.
Almendras served as Cabinet secretary and head of the Departments of Foreign Affairs and Energy during the term of former President Benigno Aquino III.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange Friday, Ayala Corp. announced Almendras’ appointment as managing director effective Aug. 1.
Concurrent to his post in the parent conglomerate, Almendras will also serve as president and chief executive officer of AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp. He will take over the post to be vacated by John Eric Francia, who will serve as full-time CEO at AC Energy.
Almendras was president of the Ayala group’s water utility, Manila Water Co., before joining the Aquino administration initially as the energy secretary in 2010.
He started his corporate career at Citytrust Banking Corp. He later moved to Citibank as account management group head in the Visayas in 1985, after which he joined the Aboitiz Group to be the treasurer of both Aboitiz Co. and Aboitiz Equity Ventures. He was eventually tasked to head the Aboitiz Group’s thrift banking arm, City Savings Bank, which became one of the biggest in Cebu under his leadership.
Almendras joined the Ayala group in 2001, initially working at Ayala Land Inc. (ALI). He was CEO of Cebu Holdings Inc. and Cebu Property Ventures and Development Corp. Later on, he assumed the role of business group head for ALI’s Visayas and Mindanao operations and concurrently held the post of operations transformation group head at ALI.
As Cabinet secretary for more than three years under the Aquino administration, Almendras was tasked to integrate and implement the programs of the government and ensure the effective coordination of policies and projects of the different departments and agencies.
During his three-year stint as energy secretary, the department ranked one of the Top 10 performers in a survey among 50 government agencies on government performance, specifically in ensuring integrity in public service.
In 2011, he cochaired the high-level discussion on the Long Term Strategy for the International Renewable Energy Agency held in Abu Dhabi. In the same year, the Philippines became a rotating member of the executive board of the International Energy Forum at the 4th Asian Energy Ministerial Roundtable on “Sustainable Growth and Energy Independence” in Kuwait.
Almendras is an acknowledged international resource person on sustainable development and leadership. In 2011, he became one of the very few in the world to be cited for sustainable leadership by the World Economic Forum. Doris Dumlao-Abadilla
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