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Philippines' Universal Robina appoints first outsider CEO

Expanding food and beverage group announces rare management reorganization

JG Summit chief executive Lance Gokongwei wants his Philippine conglomerate to focus on a few high value big bets. (Photo by Lester Babiera)

MANILA -- Philippine food and beverage producer Universal Robina has appointed an outsider as its chief executive in a rare organizational shake-up in the company controlled by the influential Gokongwei family.

Irwin Lee will assume the CEO role starting May 14, becoming the first member outside of the family to hold that position. He replaces Lance Gokongwei, son of chairman emeritus and founder John Gokongwei, who will assume the position of chairman. Incumbent Chair James Go, John's younger brother, will become chairman emeritus, according to a stock exchange filing on Wednesday.

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