Zobel de Ayala brothers to share leading roles in 186-year-old conglomerate
Business tycoon Fernando Zobel de Ayala will assume the role of chief executive officer (CEO) at Ayala Corp. by April 23 next year as part of the succession plan of the country’s oldest business house.
His older brother, Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala—known as Jaza in business circles—will henceforth focus on his role as chair of the conglomerate, which has interests in property development, banking, telecommunications, water and industrial segments.
The leadership turnover, which was announced on Thursday after getting imprimatur from the board of directors, will happen after the 2021 annual stockholders meeting of Ayala next year. At present, Fernando is Ayala’s president and chief operating officer.
Fernando and Jaime Augusto are part of the seventh generation clan running the conglomerate that has built job-creating enterprises and helped grow the Philippine economy in the last 186 years. Theirs was an enterprise that has thrived during the colonial period, two world wars, economic boom and bust cycles and political volatility.
“At Ayala, it is our leaders’ responsibility to nurture talent and plan paths of succession. In this regard, I see myself as no different from our leaders past and present,” said Jaime Augusto.
“Fernando and I are very fortunate to work with a deep leadership bench; and we are confident that planned leadership transitions such as this are critical ingredients for sustainable success. Moreover, we have the opportunity, with this move of decoupling the chairman and CEO roles, to reflect an evolving global best practice in environment, social and corporate governance,” he said.
He said his brother would be able to continue such momentum. “Both Fernando and I have worked as a leadership team for many years now, and we intend to continue charting Ayala’s path forward in tandem.”
Jaime Augusto and Fernando will retain all their current positions, as chair or vice chair, in the various subsidiary boards of the Ayala group of companies.
“It is an honor to continue leading this company with an outstanding and trusted team on our side,” Fernando said. “Together, we have worked hard to build on the many successes of those who came before us; and are committed to continuing to improve lives and create value for our next generations of colleagues, their families, our broad ecosystem of stakeholders and our country.”
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