Pangilinan steps down as PLDT CEO, prexy; Panlilio assumes new roles

·2 min read

AFTER more than two decades Manuel Pangilinan has officially stepped down as the president and chief executive officer of PLDT Inc.

Pangilinan will remain as chairman of the board. He will be replaced by Alfredo Panlilio, the group’s chief revenue officer and the current president and chief executive officer (CEO) of PLDT’s wireless arm Smart Communications.

“This decision has been made less difficult by the knowledge that Al, with his long experience with PLDT and his competent qualities, would be able to take my place, without interruption or detriment to the progress of PLDT,” Pangilinan said during the firm’s stockholders’ meeting on Tuesday, June 8, 2021.

“If I can be of service to Al and his team at any time, I shall not fail to help,” he added.

Pangilinan joined PLDT as president and CEO in 1998 following the entry of Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd., which Pangilinan founded in 1981.

Over the last 23 years, under Pangilinan’s leadership, PLDT transformed from a primarily landline business into one that provided an array of innovative digital and data-driven services that serve customers while at home, at work or on the go.

He oversaw PLDT’s comprehensive digital transformation program, which entailed massive modernization of its networks and information technology platforms to be able to deliver rich digital services and solutions to customers.


Over the last 10 years, PLDT’s record capital expenditure investments amounted to P460.8 billion.

To address the growing data needs of both fixed and wireless customers, PLDT and Smart are prepared to invest between P88 billion and P92 billion in capital expenditures in 2021.

At present, PLDT operates the country’s most extensive fiber infrastructure, spanning more than 478,000 kilometers as of end-March 2021. This fiber infrastructure also supports Smart’s mobile network, which serves 96 percent of the population from Batanes to Tawi-Tawi.

With Pangilinan at the helm to steer it through various challenges, PLDT achieved the highest full-year revenue in history in 2020, despite the most extraordinary circumstances due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Besides running PLDT, Pangilinan also chaired Manila Electric Company, Metro Pacific Investments Corp., Maynilad Water Services Inc. and Metro Pacific Hospital Holdings Inc.

New leadership

Panlilio, on the other hand, first joined PLDT in 1999 as its senior vice president for Corporate Business Group. He eventually became the head of PLDT’s Carrier Business Group before moving to Meralco in 2010, where he worked as senior vice president for Customer Retail Services.

He returned to PLDT in July 2019 as chief revenue officer, and was later appointed president and CEO of Smart Communications Inc. Panlilio will now concurrently serve as president and CEO of PLDT and Smart. He also retains his post as chief revenue officer of PLDT.

“I humbly accept the appointment as the sixth Filipino chief executive officer of this great organization, the PLDT Group,” Panlilio said in his speech. (JOB)

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