Ex-PLDT top exec named president of Davao-based Dennis Uy’s telco
Once a candidate to head the country’s largest telecommunications company, PLDT Inc., Ernesto “Eric” Alberto was named president of emerging rival DITO CME Holdings on Friday.
DITO CME said in a stock exchange filing that Alberto will assume his new role in the company on Monday (Aug. 17), replacing Davao-based businessman Dennis A. Uy, who remains chair and CEO.
DITO CME will become the holding company of telco startup DITO Telecommunity, a venture between Uy’s Udenna Corp. and Chinese state-run China Telecom.
Alberto was the previous chief revenue officer of PLDT, a position second only to chair and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan.
He left in July 2019 due to internal disagreements and joined DITO CME as independent director last July 28, weeks after his one-year non-compete restriction with PLDT ended.
On Friday, DITO CME said it will find a replacement independent director to take Alberto’s place on the board.
Alberto, who worked for almost two decades in PLDT, brings needed experience to the group as DITO Telecommunity seeks to launch commercial services by March 2021.
“Given that Eric Alberto has been with PLDT for sometime, it will probably beef up the top management of DITO with his arrival,” Luis Gerardo Limlingan, managing director at Regina Capital Development, told the Inquirer.
Alberto was also a former banker with American financial giant Citibank before joining PLDT in 2003.
The Inquirer reported Alberto’s possible entry into DITO last February. In that interview, Alberto said Uy was a personal friend and he remained keen on working in the industry.
“I’m not a spring chicken but it’s also too early to retire,” said Alberto.
As president, he will steer DITO through a challenging period as businesses adjust to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
DITO CME will also invest in e-payments, content production and advertising, it announced last month.
DITO Telecommunity, the group’s telco arm, was earlier selected to be the country’s third major telecommunications player to challenge incumbents PLDT and Globe Telecom.
However, it also encountered delays during its rollout due to COVID-19, forcing it to seek a deadline extension from the National Telecommunications Commission last July 8.
DITO Telecommunity committed to cover 37 percent of the population and offer a minimum average internet speed of 27 megabits per second in its first year of operations. By the end of its fifth year, DITO committed to cover 84 percent of the population and offer internet speeds of 55 Mbps.
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