Bursting into flames and rising from the ashes again and again in an endless loop is not a business model bilyonaryo Piki Lopez, the new face of the Lopez business group, wants the next generation of his clan to be locked into forever.
“The notion of heroically rebuilding again and again from the ashes of a scorched bird is far from my idea of a narrative that should guide our destiny; I don’t believe future generations of Lopezes should romanticize and be trapped by it. I always remind myself that ‘the fault dear Brutus, may not always be in our stars, but in ourselves…’,” said Lopez in his acceptance speech as Management Man of the Year for 2020.
“If you include our family’s recent ABS-CBN challenges, simply from my thirty-three year time frame, you can see why we’re drawn to the romantic narrative of the mythical Phoenix, which is also the title of our two-volume, 200-year history of seven generations of Lopezes,” he added.
This is the reason why Lopez made it his goal to build a consistent and sustainable profit when he took over the reins of First Philippine Holdings from his father, Oscar, in 2010.
Lopez said achieving a recurring net income at a compounded annual growth rate of 29 percent in the last ten years as been his “most gratifying” achievement so far in his corporate career.
Lopez, who recently cemented his role as the new face of the family business with his appointment as chairman and CEO of Lopez Holdings, also admitted that the biggest lesson he learned in 33 years was that the family could not have been saved from the jaws of bankruptcy without its professional managers who were encouraged to think like owners.
“I’m too aware of my own weaknesses, and the limitations of relying on the family gene pool alone to think it could have been done otherwise. I envied their work backgrounds, their experiences with the best global firms, or even just the exceptional discipline, tenacity, and professional creativity they brought to their work,” said Lopez.
“It isn’t simply about attracting and compensating them well. We sometimes describe our work at the top as that of gardeners tending, nurturing, and protecting everyone’s growth. Sounds passive and docile, but this often requires actively keeping egos and feelings of entitlement in check so that unbridgeable silos don’t take root, and relationships as well as communications are always strong,” he added.