obituary

Century Pacific founder Ricardo Po Sr. dies at 90

Ralf Rivas
Century Pacific founder Ricardo Po Sr. dies at 90

TYCOON. Ricardo Po Sr., founder and chairman emeritus of Century Pacific Food Incorporated

(1st UPDATE) The self-made billionaire is survived by his wife Angelita and his four children

Ricardo Po Sr., founder and chairman emeritus of Century Pacific Food Incorporated (CNPF), has died, the company announced on Tuesday, October 12. He was 90.

“Mr. Ricardo S. Po Sr., founder and Chairman Emeritus of Century Pacific, passed away peacefully and painlessly on October 11, 2021 from complications arising from surgery. His family was by his side throughout the ordeal until he returned to the Lord,” Century Pacific Group said in a statement on Wednesday, October 12.

“He was 90 years old and lived a full life raising his family, building his company, and perfecting his golf game,” it added.

The self-made billionaire and his family had a net worth of $1.5 billion (around P75 billion).

In 1947, Po immigrated with his mother from Guangzhou, China. He then became a translator in Binondo, Manila.

Po then became a newspaper journalist, covering the police beat and Malacañang in the 1950s.

After his brief stint in journalism, he then went on to venture into marketing and advertising, and among his first clients was the late Henry Sy Sr. of SM, according to a profile by the Inquirer in 2014.

Po later became a stockbroker, but lost his wealth during the 1973 stock market crash.

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Using his remaining funds, Po founded Century Canning Corporation in 1978, which which later became CNPF. Its brands include 555, Argentina, and Century Tuna.

“Under his vision and leadership, the Century Pacific Group has grown its interests from affordable food and beverages to family restaurant chains and sustainable real estate developments. He leaves behind a legacy of compassion through the RSPo Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to alleviating hunger among vulnerable communities,” Century Pacific said.

“He was a deeply devoted husband and a loving father not just to his children, but to the entire company. So much so that many within the Century Pacific Group fondly and respectfully call him ‘Tatay,'” Century Pacific added.

He is survived by his wife, Angelita; his children Ricardo Jr., Teodoro Alexander, Christopher, and Leonardo Arthur; and his daughters-in-law and grandchildren.

Teodoro is currently CNPF president and chief executive officer, while Christopher  and Ricardo Jr. sit as the company’s executive chairman and vice chair, respectively.

Century Pacific said that Po’s wake will be limited to his immediate family because of community quaratine restrictions, and invited the public to join them in novena Masses via Zoom. Details on this will be released later.

“In lieu of flowers, we ask that donations be made to Caritas Manila’s feeding program which was also one of his biggest advocacies,” Century Pacific said. – Rappler.com

Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.