On this day, September 12 in the year 1939, one of the biggest master-franchisees of McDonald’s in Asia was born in Manila, Philippines. His name is George Yang, founder of Golden Arches Development Corporation.
George Yang was the son of a Chinese business couple based in the Philippines. He acquired a degree in business administration from De La Salle University in Manila and his MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, USA. He started working as a marketing manager of a cigarette company and sold insurance as a sideline. Then he taught business courses at his alma mater on a part-time basis.
In late 1970s, George Yang applied to be the franchisee of McDonald’s in the Philippines. To increase his chances of getting the franchise and to be educated on how to run a fast food chain, he travelled to Hong Kong with his son Kenneth to have a hands-on experience by working on a McDonald’s branch there. In 1980, the franchise was granted. The following year, the first branch was opened in the busy university belt of Manila. Soon, it opened a second branch. Today, the McDonald’s franchise has more than 500 branches all over the Philippines.
George Yang has many other restaurant businesses aside from McDonald’s. He has also invested in other unrelated businesses such as the Disney franchise, jewelry, and real estate. He served and/or is serving in the boards of many big corporations such as Alliance Global (a partner company in the McDonald’s franchise), Megaworld, Berjaya, and Philippine Gaming Management Corporation. He also serves as vice-chairman of the company that operates the airport in Boracay, the foremost tourist destination in the Philippines.
George Yang has three sons (Kenneth, Kristopher, and Richmond) and a daughter (Karine), all holding important positions in the sprawling family empire. His wife Kristin is in-charge of the jewelry business.