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Philippine conglomerate JG Summit names new CEO

Leadership kept in the family at country's No. 3 business group

A Robinsons Galleria shopping mall in Manila. A leadership succession is taking place at parent company JG Summit. (Photo by Masayuki Kozono)

MANILA -- JG Summit Holdings, the Philippines' third-largest conglomerate, has tapped Lance Gokongwei to become chief executive, taking the helm of a company founded by his father.

Lance, currently president and chief operating officer, will take the helm May 14, according to a stock exchange filing on Thursday. He will replace his uncle, James Go, who will stay on as chairman.

JG Summit is involved in food and beverage production, in addition to having a hand in the airline, real estate, petrochemical and banking industries. It has equity investments in telecommunications and power. The conglomerate's footprint spans from Southeast Asia to Oceania.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, food and beverage unit Universal Robina announced the appointment of Lance as chairman, replacing his uncle who will become chair emeritus. The company also appointed Irwin Lee, an outsider, as CEO, replacing the younger Gokongwei.

Lance Gokongwei is the son of JG Summit founder John Gokongwei.

Lance, 51, is the only son of John Gokongwei, who founded the conglomerate as a corn starch producer in the 1950s. The younger Gokongwei, meanwhile, was educated at the University of Pennsylvania in the U.S. and has been helping oversee the group's businesses since the late 1980s.

Investors have welcomed the latest developments. JG Summit's shares rose 3.81% on Thursday, outperforming Manila's benchmark index, which edged up 0.79%.

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