Metricon founder, CEO Mario Biasin dead at 71: Mario Biasin, the founder and chief executive of Metricon Homes, the country’s largest detached home builder, died suddenly on Monday.
Metricon announced the death of Mr Biasin, 71, in a statement. It gave no detail about the circumstances of his passing.
“As friends and colleagues of Mario, we are shocked and so saddened by the news,” said long-standing director and major shareholder Ross Palazzesi, who the company said would continue with the business as acting executive chairman.
“Our hearts and thoughts are with the Biasin family. We will ensure Metricon Homes continues all operations and on-site construction as usual during a very emotional time.”
Director and general manager of the company’s Victoria business Peter Langfelder has taken on the role of acting CEO.
The loss of its founder comes at a difficult time for Metricon, which employs 2500 staff and was Australia’s largest home builder last year, with 6052 housing starts, up from 4534 a year earlier – reflecting a surge in work on the back of incentive programs such as the federal government’s HomeBuilder payments.
As the country’s largest builder, Metricon has been hit hard by rising costs of material and labour shortages. In March, it said it was renegotiating the fixed-price contracts with a small number of clients in Queensland, but reversed the move shortly after.
At that time, Mr Biasin said the company was on solid financial ground.
“There’s been lots of nervous chatter around builder viability, Metricon is in a very strong position to complete all work it has and is continuing to accept and support a high number of new customer builds and will do so for many years to come,” he said.
Earlier this month, Metricon declined to say whether it was renegotiating contracts in NSW. The company on Monday said it has 4000 houses under construction.
Mr Biasin, born in Trieste in Italy’s far north-east, was a majority owner, with Premier Fruit Group managing director Anthony di Pietro, of soccer club Melbourne Victory. In 2016 the pair paid $235,000 to take control of small lower-league Italian club Triestina.
Mr Di Pietro said Melbourne Victory was “shocked, devastated and heartbroken” by the news.
“Mario has been a shareholder and director of the club for over 16 years, and has been an inspiration for many of us in so many ways, but especially as a great personal friend,” club chairman Mr Di Pietro said.
Mr Biasin is survived by his wife Glenda and four adult children Jason, Michelle Crisfield, Bradley and Brent as well as their spouses and children.