Rappler held its first full board meeting this year on March 7, 2013. It capped Rappler’s first year since it went on public beta January 1, 2012.
There is only one change from the founding members: Raymund Miranda resigned at the end of 2012 because of possible conflicts of interest after he joined ABS-CBN.
Taking his seat is Carla Yap Sy-Su, incoming managing director of Dolphin Fire Group, Inc. March 7 was her first meeting as a member of the board.
Four groups fully own Rappler: the journalists led by Maria Ressa and Glenda Gloria; digital entrepreneurs led by Manny Ayala and Nix Nolledo; marketing and media sales experts led by Dolphin Fire, a company created by Raymund Miranda and his cousin, Miguel Bitanga; and angel investor Benjie So.
Rappler’s shareholders signed an agreement giving full editorial and management control to the journalists, whose collective aim is to create a truly independent news group and crowdsourcing platform free of vested interests.
Here are Rappler’s 2013 officers:
Manny Ayala, Chairman of the Board
Manny is a founder at Hatchd Inc., a technology incubator focused on building great Internet and mobile brands. He was previously a managing director at IRG Ltd, a HK-based M&A boutique focused on the telecoms, media and tech industries. At IRG, Manny focused on a variety of projects in the Internet, mobile, television and online gaming sectors.
Manny was the number two executive at Discovery Networks Asia, where he oversaw Strategic Planning, Programming, On-Air Branding and Program Sales. He was instrumental in building Discovery Channel and Animal Planet into top-rated TV channels across the region. Before joining Discovery, Manny was deputy general manager for TNT and Cartoon Network Asia, an AOL Time Warner TV channel, where he was a key member of the team that launched the service across the Asia Pacific. Prior to that, Manny worked for STAR TV where he was part of the team that acquired the Don Bluth Animation Studio as well as a number of the world’s key Chinese-language film libraries.
Manny has an MBA from the Harvard Graduate School of Business and a BA, cum laude, from Yale University.
Maria A. Ressa, President
Maria has been a journalist in Asia for nearly 30 years – nearly a decade as CNN’s bureau chief in Manila and another decade as the global network’s Jakarta bureau chief. She became CNN’s lead investigative reporter focusing on terrorism networks and in 2003, the Simon & Schuster group published her first book, the first from the region documenting the growth of Jemaah Islamiyah and its links to al-Qaeda:Seeds of Terror: An Eyewitness Account of Al-Qaeda’s Newest Center of Operations in Southeast Asia.
Maria was one of the founders of Probe, an independent production company founded in 1987. In 2005, she became the senior vice-president of ABS-CBN’s news group, heading the largest multi-platform news operation in the Philippines. For 6 years, she set strategic direction, ran training programs for more than 1,000 journaists and helped put together a comprehensive standards & ethics manual. She streamlined workflows and helped increase the group’s gross profit rate from 54% to 70%.
Maria taught courses in politics and the press for her alma mater, Princeton University, and in broadcast principles at the University of the Philippines. Her latest book, FROM BIN LADEN TO FACEBOOK, was part of her work as author-in-residence and senior fellow at the International Centre for Political Violence & Terrorism Research in Singapore. She is also the Southeast Asia Visiting Scholar at CORE Lab at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.
Glenda M. Gloria, Vice President
Glenda studied to be a journalist during the Marcos years. Revolutions and transitions shaped her career and temperament. She worked for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, The Manila Times, the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism and for international news agencies. In the dying days of the Estrada administration, she co-founded Newsbreak, which started as a weekly news magazine and became one of the Philippines’ leading investigative reporting organizations.
From 2008 to January 2011, she managed ANC, the ABS-CBN News Channel, as its chief operating officer. Under her management, ANC grew its revenues 400% and acted as the harbinger of new initiatives for the ABS-CBN news group. She played a key role in harnessing social media for the network’s 2010 election coverage.
Glenda now manages the Rappler newsroom, merging traditional journalism with innovative crowd-sourcing social media techniques. She’s written numerous books including Under the Crescent Moon: Rebellion in Mindanao with Marites Danguilan-Vitug, a groundbreaking book on the conflict in Mindanao that won the National Book Award. In 2011, she wrote The Enemy Within: An Inside Story on Military Corruption with Aries Rufo and Gemma Bagayaua-Mendoza.
Glenda received a journalism degree in 1985 at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila. A British Chevening scholar, she holds a master’s degree in political sociology from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Carla Yap-Sy Su, Treasurer
Carla is a marketing leader whose communication strategies were developed through nine years in the telecommunication marketing industry with Smart Communications.
As the Senior Product Manager and Head of Brand Equity Management, Carla’s experiences spanned all telecom and broadband categories. She led integrated marketing campaigns throughout Smart, Talk N’ Text and Smart Infinity groups to ensure consistent growth.
Over the years, Carla handled various segments in Smart Communications particularly Innovations, Value Added Services and Brand Equity Management. Most recently, Carla spearheaded the revitalization of Smart Communication’s brand essence and visual identity under the handle “Live More.”
Carla’s strengths lie in conceptualizing and executing core engagement strategies and campaigns that capture different market segments through passion points. The campaigns that she has launched have won awards from the Cannes Lions, Tambuli Awards, Panata Awards, Anvil Awards and Boomerang Awards.
Carla earned her degree in Business Management from the Ateneo De Manila University with double minor degrees in Information Technology and History.
Nix is a digital entrepreneur with businesses in mobile applications, web marketing and e-commerce.
He’s the CEO of Xurpas, Inc., a large mobile content provider which develops mobile marketing programs and applications for several telecommunications firms in the Philippines as well as other emerging markets. He is also the co-founder of pinoyexchange.com, one of the country’s largest online communities.
He is a founding director of the Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines (IMMAP) and the Digital Commerce Association of the Philippines (DCOM). He is also a member of the Philippine chapter of Enterpreneurs’ Organization (EO).
Nix graduated with a business degree from the Ateneo de Manila University and was selected as one of the top 50 entrepreneurs in the Philippines by Entrepreneur Magazine.