ABS-CBN Corp. Chairman Eugenio “Gabby” L. Lopez III has stepped down from his position, making way for Martin “Mark” L. Lopez, who served as the company’s chief technology officer.
In a move by the network to focus on its pivot to digital, Mr. Gabby Lopez was elected chairman emeritus during the organizational meeting of the company held on Thursday, April 19. He was chairman of the board of directors since 1997, and also served as chief executive officer from 1997 to 2012.
Mr. Gabby Lopez, who turned 65 last August and is the second chairman emeritus in the company’s history, will remain as a director.
He succeeded his father Eugenio “Ka Geny” M. Lopez, Jr. in 1997 and also served as CEO of ABS-CBN from 1997 to 2012.
Mr. Gabby Lopez led the network when it diversified into ventures including interactive and online media, international and domestic cable and satellite channels, broadband services, sports programming, digital TV, among others. It was also under his leadership that ABS-CBN launched cable TV service SkyCable, global subscription channel The Filipino Channel, and video-on-demand streaming sites TFC.tv and iWant TV. He also pursued the launch of ABS-CBN TVplus, the country’s first-ever digital terrestrial television (DTT) product.
“As every athlete knows, there comes a time when inevitably it’s time to let go of the reins and allow others to take over. My father has always said ‘broadcasting’ is for the young. After all, today’s digital world is vastly different from the world I managed,” he said in his speech during the annual stockholders’ meeting of the company on April 19. He added that if the board decides, he can still serve in a “consultative capacity.”
Mr. Mark Lopez, cousin of Mr. Gabby Lopez, previously held the position of vice-president and chief information officer at Manila Electric Co. He concurrently served Meralco CIO and president of e-Meralco Ventures until 2010.
ABS-CBN said in a statement that Mr. Mark Lopez set the company’s strategic directions and ensured “operational excellence in information and communications.”
“He spearheaded ABS-CBN’s system modernization, highlighted by the migration to the cloud and the automation of content creation and delivery to various media platforms. He was also responsible for ABS-CBN’s migration to HD and the completion of the DTT infrastructure,” ABS-CBN said in a statement.
The company booked a net income of P3.16 billion for 2017, 10% less than the company’s P3.52-billion in earnings in 2016, which was election year.
Shares in ABS-CBN went down 2.08% or P0.60 to end at P28.20. — Patrizia Paola C. Marcelo