John L. Gokongwei, Jr. (August 11, 1926 Gulangyu, Xiamen, Fujian Province, China) is a Chinese Filipino businessman with holdings in telecom, financial services, petrochemicals, power, aviation and hog farming. In 2008, Gokongwei has a networth of $680 million. His father, John Gokongwei Sr. the founder of Universal Robina Corporation. He is the chairman of JG Summit Holdings, one of largest conglomerates in the Philippines. In 2005, his company had spent $700 million of internally generated funds for buying new aircraft for his airline, Cebu Pacific Air, the largest carrier in the Philippines. From 2003 up to the present his telecom arm Digital Telecommunications Philippines spent nearly $800 million for its mobile unit Sun Cellular which is the 3rd largest mobile operator in the Philippines as of 2008. He is currently negotiating a $1 billion takeover of UIC a property giant from Singapore of which he owns in excess of 30%. UIC controls Singapore Land one of the biggest property landlord in Singapore. Gokongwei also owns Universal Robina Corporation, largest manufacturer of snacks in the Philippines and the maker of the very successful C2 green tea drink in the country. He also controls Robinsons Land one of the biggest property concerns in the Philippines that operates the Robinsons Malls.
He was born into a wealthy Cebu-based family, originally from China’s Fujian province. The family fortune was lost when his affluent father died. He started his business career during World War II, buying and selling rice, cloth and scrap metal. He is married, and has six children. His only son Lance Gokongwei is now in charge of the Gokongwei Empire serving as president and COO while his father serves as Chairman Emeritus. Although, his family affords luxury in life he encourages his family especially his eldest grandchild Isabelle Gokongwei to participate not only in socialite happenings but as well as charity events.
On August 29, 2007, at the Ateneo de Manila University, Gokongwei’s book, “John L. Gokongwei Jr.: The Path of Entrepreneurship” by the University’s Dr. Marites A. Khanser, was launched, and it narrated the “riches-to-rags-to-riches” story of the tai-pan. Gokongwei stated that entrepreneurship is a way out of poverty. In 2002 Gokongwei donated P200-million to the undergraduate school of management. and he also made donations to University of San Carlos, Xavier School, De La Salle University, Sacred Heart School and Immaculate Conception Academy.
On February, 2008,Forbes Asia magazine’s first Heroes of Philanthropy list included 4 Filipinos – Jaime Zobel de Ayala, John Gokongwei, Ramón del Rosario Jr., and Óscar López.The list is composed of 4 philanthropists each from 13 selected countries and territories in Asia.
John Gokongwei and fellow businessman Andrew Gotianun are cousins.
- Name: John L. Gokongwei, Jr.
- Also known as : John Gokongwei
- Date of Birth : August 11, 1926
- Place of Birth: Cebu City, Philippines
- Wife: Elizabeth Yu-Gokongwei
- Children : 6 children
- Lance Gokongwei
- Lisa Gokongwei-Cheng
- Robina Gokongwei-Pe
- Faith Gokongwei-Lim
- Marcia Gokongwei-Sy
- Hope Gokongwei-Tang
- Schools Attended: San Carlos University in Cebu
- Fortune: self made
- Source: diversified
- JG Summit Holdings
- Henyo Bank
- Universal Robina
- Robinsons Land (including Robinsons Malls)
- Cebu Pacific
- Digital Telecommunications Philippines (Digitel and Sun Cellular)
- United Industrial Corporation Limited (A Singapore listed company)
- Robinsons Bank
- JG Summit Petrochemical Corporation
- Robinsons Retail Group
- Summit Media