telecommunications companies

Al Panlilio succeeds Manny Pangilinan as PLDT CEO

Aika Rey
Al Panlilio succeeds Manny Pangilinan as PLDT CEO

TOP BOSS. Al Panlilio becomes PLDT president and CEO.

PLDT livestream screenshot

(2nd UPDATE) 'I have big shoes to fill, as you have set the bar so high,' new PLDT CEO Al Panlilio tells Manny Pangilinan, who stays on as chairman

Tycoon Manny Pangilinan officially “passed the baton” to his successor Al Panlilio as PLDT’s president and chief executive officer.

In PLDT’s annual stockholders’ meeting on Tuesday, June 8, the 58-year-old Panlilio accepted the new appointment.

He also retains his positions as PLDT chief revenue officer as well as president and CEO of the telco’s subsidiary Smart Communications.

The 74-year-old Pangilinan, meanwhile, stays on as PLDT chairman.

Pangilinan said his first words to Panlilio as the latter starts his new role were to “declare support” for him.

“This decision is made less difficult by the knowledge of Al – with his long experience with PLDT and his competent qualities – to be able to take my place forthwith without interruption or detriment to the progress that PLDT made,” said Pangilinan of Panlilio’s appointment.

“I now lay down my charge. I will continue to be your chairman and as such, I will always follow the affairs and fortunes of our company with profound interest.… It has been an unparalleled privilege to serve in this company as your CEO.”

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Panlilio thanked Pangilinan for “graciously preparing and guiding” him.

“I must confess, I have big shoes to fill, as you have set the bar so high. And I’m honored to follow the most remarkable leader. Your leadership made PLDT what it is today,” Panlilio said.

As CEO, Panlilio said his priorities will be efficient operations, innovation, and improving customer experience.

“If there is one area where we should be world-class in, it should be customer experience,” the new PLDT CEO said.

He also pledged to improve PLDT as a company that provides “world-class connectivity as a human right” and one that “actively embarks on sustainable development as a cure to everyone’s future.”

During the meeting, Panlilio was also elected to join the board of directors, along with Ateneo de Manila University board of trustees chair Bernadine Siy as an independent director.

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In May, Pangilinan announced that Panlilio would be his successor, nearly five years after he retook the CEO role.

Panlilio first joined PLDT in 1999 as senior vice president for the Corporate Business Group. Then he headed the telco’s Carrier Business Group before moving to the Manila Electric Company in 2010 as senior vice president for customer retail services.

In July 2019, Panlilio returned to PLDT as its chief revenue officer, then was also appointed as Smart president and CEO. Months into the job, Panlilio was faced with the coronavirus pandemic, yet the telco joined the few outliers to reach revenue heights in the middle of the crisis.

For 2021, PLDT sees newfound growth in the home broadband segment driving its profits to between P29 billion and P30 billion by the end of the year. – Rappler.com

Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.