San Miguel appointes Ramon Ang as president, COO

Philippine food-and-drink group San Miguel Corp. appointed Ramon Ang, a long-standing financial adviser to chairman Eduardo Cojuangco, as chief operating officer and president on 6 March. Ang, who has…

Philippine food-and-drink group San Miguel Corp. appointed Ramon Ang, a long-standing financial adviser to chairman Eduardo Cojuangco, as chief operating officer and president on 6 March. Ang, who has been at San Miguel since 1999, replaces Francisco Eizmendi, who is retiring. Ang played a pivotal role in helping broker a deal that enabled Kirin Brewery Ltd. (KNBWY) of Japan to take a 15% stake in San Miguel for $536 million earlier this month. Two Kirin executives – chief operating officer Shigeki Ota and managingcdirector Naomichi Asano – have been appointed to San Miguel“s 15-member board, replacing Eizmendi and Faustino Galang, president of San Miguel“s beer division. Analysts noted that Ang was long viewed as Eizmendi“s successor after he joined the board in 1999. Eizmendi was appointed San Miguel president in 1987, a year after the government sequestered a 47% stake in the company from Cojuangco on suspicion it was bought using public funds during the regime of Ferdinand Marcos. At that time, Cojuangco was in exile with Marcos. After Cojuangco took over the helm of San Miguel again in 1998 with the consent of ousted leader Joseph Estrada, Eizmendi was widely expected to leave then. Analysts said Ang is one of Cojuangco“s closest business advisers, and has also played a key role in running Cojuangco“s Northern Consolidated Cement Corp. since the 1980s. Ang is also believed to have helped engineer a number of key acquisitions by San Miguel since Cojuangco“s return. These include buying PureFoods Corp. from Ayala Corp. for around PHP7 billion last year and local soft-drink firm Cosmos Bottling Corp.