By Ian Sayson
ABS-CBN Corp.’s chairman emeritus, Eugenio ‘Gabby’ Lopez III, has quit and has relinquished his board seats in the Philippine media company and other ventures controlled by the Lopez family.
Lopez, who previously served as chief executive and the son and namesake of ABS-CBN’s founder, resigned effective immediately for personal reasons, the company said in a statement. He also gave up his board seats in ABS-CBN Holdings Corp., Sky Vision Corp., Sky Cable Corp., First Gen Corp., Rockwell Land Corp. and First Philippine Holdings Corp.
“While he left ABS-CBN’s day-to-day management sometime ago, Gabby remained the face of the company,” said Astro del Castillo, managing director at First Grade Finance Inc. “Given the heat he has received, this could shield ABS-CBN and the family’s other businesses from any potential political threat.”
ABS-CBN was forced to reduce its programming, terminate 45% of its 11,000 workers and take a 5.6 billion peso ($115 million) impairment charge after its bid to renew a franchise to operate free-to-air television was rejected by Congress in July, CEO Carlo Katigbak told shareholders in a meeting on Thursday. The broadcaster had been a target of President Rodrigo Duterte’s attacks, accusing it of biased news coverage, which ABS-CBN had denied.
Mario Luza Bautista, general corporate counsel and board adviser, was elected ABS-CBN director to fill the seat vacated by Lopez. ABS-CBN shares rose as much as 2.7% before paring gains to 1% to 7.07 pesos at the 1 p.m. close in Manila.
© 2020 Bloomberg L.P.