With OIC in place, PAL starts search for new president
Billionaire Lucio Tan’s Philippine Airlines (PAL) announced it was still looking for a “qualified” president after naming Capt. Stanley Ng, Tan’s son-in-law, to the top post.
Tan’s airline group, comprised of PAL Holdings Inc., PAL Inc. and Air Philippines Corp., decided during a Jan. 31, 2022 joint board meeting that Ng would stay as acting president and chief operating officer for a “period of six months or until a new president is identified, elected and qualified.”
During the same meeting, the various company directors accepted and approved the resignation of Gilbert Santa Maria, the PAL president who steered the airline through its financial woes during the COVID-19 pandemic.
No explanation was given for Santa Maria’s abrupt resignation.
Ng will also assume Santa Maria’s board seats as a director of PAL Holdings, the flag carrier’s listed holding company and Air Philippines.
Ng was PALs’ senior vice president for airline operations.
PAL said in an earlier statement that Ng would be a “unifying leader amid the enormous challenges the pandemic continues to bring.”
“Capt. Stanley is supported by the existing management team which will remain intact as the company maintains its momentum toward full recovery,” PAL said.
Under Santa Maria’s leadership, PAL successfully exited from its US Chapter 11 bankruptcy after a few months at the end of 2021.
This allowed the flag carrier to remove $2.1 billion in aircraft-related debts.
PAL’s plan of reorganization was earlier approved by the US court after it won overwhelming support from its creditors, including aircraft leasing firms, suppliers and major banks.