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Biz buzz: PLDT shakeup

/ 07:40 AM May 06, 2015

Local telecommunications giant Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. on Tuesday unveiled a senior management shakeup in a bid to make the organization more “customer focused” and prepare for a shift to digital business as the main cash cow of the future.

To accelerate its digital shift, PLDT turned to Silicon Valley and brought on board a successful Fil-Am technopreneur, Winston Damarillo, to become its new chief strategy officer.

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Damarillo, who will be instrumental in developing, communicating and executing strategic initiatives, had founded several companies across the Asean region. His most recent stint was as chair and CEO of AGSX, a company specializing in digital enterprise transformation.

Likewise, PLDT hired German IT veteran Joachim Horn, who would be the new chief technology and integration advisor.

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Horn has over 30 years of global experience in the telecommunications industry, having worked at Siemens, T-Mobile and Bharti Airtel. His last post was as chief technology and integration officer of Tele2 in Sweden.

Internally, PLDT Home executive vice president Isaias Fermin was given an expanded leadership role as head of the entire consumer business. On the other hand, Charles Lim, currently EVP and head of individual wireless business, was assigned to establish and head the “wireless strategic investments and acquisition group.”

PLDT chair Manuel V. Pangilinan (aka MVP) said: “Charles is with me on a secret mission,” adding that this is a “big” event that the group will disclose in due time.

If successful, MVP said, it would be “transformative for the PLDT group.”

Smart founder Orlando Vea was tasked to “lead and drive the group’s digital offensive” as president of Voyager Innovations, the unit focused on creating innovative digitally centric solutions and services.

Meanwhile, Anabelle Chua, chief financial officer (CFO) of Smart, has been appointed CFO of the PLDT group.  June Cheryl Cabal-Revilla will become the new CFO of Smart and Digital Mobile Philippines Inc. and PLDT group controller concurrent with her present responsibilities.  Leo Posadas will be appointed treasurer of the PLDT group.

The appointments will take effect on May 18.

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Pangilinan said—hopefully in jest, for the sake of the officials involved—that all the internal changes were “without salary adjustments.”–Doris Dumlao-Abadilla

SM in Caloocan

The SM group has gained a foothold in the northern tip of the metropolis by setting up shop at a strategic intersection in Sangandaan, Caloocan City.

Scheduled to open later this year is the four-level SM Center Sangandaan, which will have 20,000 square meters in gross floor area, a footprint that’s much more modest compared to its usual shopping malls.

Nevertheless, this upcoming community mall—which is being built on a former market along the busy Sangandaan intersection—will bring SM Prime Holdings closer to the Malabon-Navotas-Caloocan market.

Note that rival Robinsons Land Corp. entered the market earlier with the opening of Robinsons Town Mall Malabon in 2013, while there are at least two other independently owned community malls long operating in the Malabon area.

SM Sangandaan is among the four new malls the Sy group will open this year, and the only one that is located within Metro Manila. The three other SM malls to open this year are SM City San Mateo in Rizal, SM City Cabanatuan in Nueva Ecija, and SM Seaside City Cebu.

As SM Prime is also expanding two existing malls—SM City Lipa in Batangas and SM City Iloilo—these new and expanded malls will add almost 800,000 square meters of gross floor area to the group this year.–Doris Dumlao-Abadilla

Open ended

Industry stakeholders and Department of Energy (DOE) employees alike are watching top-level developments at the department.

When Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho L. Petilla announced his resignation last April 29, Petilla even named an officer-in-charge.

However, it now appears he is set to stay a little while more at the DOE following Monday’s talks with President Aquino.

That is, Petilla is apparently staying until the Chief Executive has decided on his replacement.

This means the DOE staff can stay put for now and continue with their pending work, leaving worry about office movements, if any, for later. But this also means that there would be uncertainty, at least for the short term.

If it’s any consolation, with Petilla keen on running for public office, the longest he will likely stay is October.

Petilla himself has said he doesn’t want to wait that long at the DOE. But then in life, as in public service, anything can change, anytime.–Riza T. Olchondra

No fan of boxing

While the whole country—and perhaps most of the sports world—was glued to their television sets last Sunday for the Pacquiao-Mayweather spectacle, there was at least one Filipino who was not interested in the so-called “Fight of the Century.”

This was no other than Kim Jacinto-Henares, Bureau of Internal Revenue commissioner.

One would think that the chief of the country’s tax collection agency would be interested in the fight (especially with Pacquiao set to earn a taxable sum of few billion pesos, notwithstanding his loss).

But no.

Henares told Biz Buzz that she’s no boxing fan and, as such, spent Sunday engaging in more productive pursuits.

Like what? Well, she’s a voracious reader of spy thrillers, for one.

But perhaps there’s an additional, more pragmatic reason why Henares isn’t interested in the fight.

“We’re not going to get any revenues out of that fight anyway,” she said, explaining that the boxing champion will almost certainly opt to pay his income taxes for the fight in the United States (which has a slightly lower personal income tax rate than the Philippines).

Of course, for Pacquaio’s sake, we hope he is able to present proof to the BIR, this time around, that he indeed settled his tax obligations with the US Internal Revenue Service.

Remember: Pacquaio’s failure to present his US tax documents to the BIR was what got him into trouble with local authorities in the first place.

And in case you’re wondering—even if it’s no longer in the news—that P2.2-billion income tax the BIR wants to levy on Pacquiao is still outstanding.–Daxim L. Lucas

E-mail us at bizbuzz@inquirer.com.ph. Get business alerts and a preview of Biz Buzz the evening before it comes out. Text ON INQ BUSINESS to 4467 (P2.50/alert).

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TAGS: Carlos Jericho Padilla, DoE, Kim Henares, management shakeup, Manny Pacquiao, PLDT, SM Malls, taxes
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