Ayala Corp Chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala will relinquish his CEO post to younger brother Fernando Zobel as the 185-year-old conglomerate signaled a leadership transition that keeps it within the family.
The elder Zobel, known as JAZA, will focus on his role as Ayala Corp Chairman. Fernando will be both President (his current post) and CEO effective April 23, 2021, during their annual stockholders' meeting.
The younger Zobel will stay on as vice chairman of Ayala Corp, the conglomerate said in a statement. As CEO, Fernando will be in charge of the family's vast holdings that include Ayala Malls, Ayala Land, Globe Telecom, Bank of the Philippine Islands, AC Energy and AC Infrastructure.
"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 said.
The leadership transition in Ayala Corp reflects the practice of keeping control of the business within the immediate family while its rivals such as the Sys of SM and the Lopezes of ABS-CBN started to look outwards.
When shopping mall tycoon Henry Sy Sr. retired, he was succeeded as SM Investments Corp chairman by one of his most trusted partners Jose Sio--a family outsider.
The same can be said of the Lopez group when they chose Charo Santos-Concio to take over as ABS-CBN CEO from Gabby Lopez. The current heads of ABS-CBN however are Lopez family members, President and CEO Carlo Katigbak and Chairman Mark Lopez.