Carmen seals first family’s control of Lucio Tan empire after giving control to Hun Hun, easing out Mike

Two and half years since the death of Bong Tan, his 29-year-old son has been crowned the heir apparent of the business empire of Lucio Tan.
This is thanks to Carmen, Tan’s first wife and Bong’s mother, who handed over her powerful post as vice chairman (VC) of LT Group (LTG) to Lucio “Hun Hun” Tan III, during the holding firm’s stockholders meeting on May 5.
Carmen, who retained her seat on the 11-member board, was named VC in 2020 when the post was restored and lavished with the power to preside in all meetings of LTG in the absence of the chairman, Lucio.
To further seal the first family’s control of LTG, Carmen also cut the legs under Lucio’s son from his second wife, Michael “Mike” Tan, who not only relinquished his COO post to Hun Hun but also agreed to turn over his presidential duties to the heir apparent “no later than April 2023.”
A Babbler said it was a decisive move on the part of Carmen to assert the first family’s control of the business over the last three years considering that Lucio has never been himself since Bong died in November 2019.
To make matters worse, Lucio was also infected with COVID in 2021 which has further slowed down the 87-year-old businessman.
Babbler said Carmen, 81, had also made up her mind after the death of Bong that the leadership of the family business would not be passed on to her other children but to her eldest grandson, Hun Hun.
Hun Hun was appointed director in nearly a dozen corporations in the family empire, including president of Tanduay.
“Everybody knows Mike has the experience and the capacity among Tan’s children to run the family business. But it is Carmen who is running the show, all major issues have to get her approval. Carmen also wants to keep the business strictly with the first family so, in keeping the Chinese tradition of succession, she chose her eldest grandson,” the Babbler said.
Mike has been president and COO of LTG – which has interests in tobacco, banking, beverage and real estate – since 2010.
A Babbler said Mike and Bong, like most of Tan’s children, were close to each other.
“Before Bong died, it was widely expected that Bong would be the chairman and Mike would run the daily operations. This was the formula that met both traditional and ideal business succession models,” the Babbler said.
“Now Carmen wants her grandson, who grew up in the United States and only came home to the Philippines for family reunions, to take over the empire. Hun Hun is book smart but Lucio Tan’s businesses were built on street smarts. Three years in a board room just won’t cut it in the real world,” the Babbler further said.
“Close sila. Mike is has good management skills. Remember before, Asia Brewery was problematic and was always losing money. But Mike turned the company around,” another Babbler said.
Do mothers, or in Hun Hun’s case grandmother, always know best?

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