BIZ BUZZ: Meralco changing of the guard
The 76-year-old billionaire Manuel V. Pangilinan now holds three positions in the country’s largest electric distribution utility, after Meralco president and chief executive officer Ray Espinosa officially announced that he was relinquishing his post at the company’s annual stockholders’ meeting on Tuesday.
Pangilinan—also fittingly called “MVP” in this context, now that he has three titles in one company—is now not only chair of Meralco, but also president and CEO.
While Espinosa only served as Meralco chief for four years, Pangilinan lauded him for his contributions to the company, especially as he led Meralco during the “generation-defining pandemic.”
“When our population was locked down and anxious about their survival, about the health of their loved ones and their job security, Meralco kept the lights on and even offered a reprieve to our people in the form of extended payment deadlines,” Pangilinan said in his thank-you speech for Espinosa.
Pangilinan further commended RCE (Espinosa’s initials) for “keeping the ship steady during such unsettled time.”
But he’s not ready to let go of his best lawyer just yet. The 67-year-old Espinosa will stay as a director of Meralco, and Pangilinan also asked him to be his adviser at least until the end of the year.
“I would simply ask that you stay with us at least until the end of this year as adviser to the office of the chairman,” Pangilinan said, adding that he needed Espinosa’s guidance moving forward.
For his part, Espinosa, who topped the bar exam in 1982 and thus earned him the legal head position of the MVP group for over two decades, expressed his gratitude to Meralco employees for their support under his leadership.
“I have every confidence that the men and women of Meralco, along with all its stakeholders, will continue to build upon our achievements and forge toward an even more promising future. It has been a rare honor and a rare privilege to serve you,” he said.
— Meg J. Adonis
Times a-changin’ at Jollibee Group Foundation
A change of leadership has come to Jollibee Group Foundation with the board naming Jollibee Group founder Tony Tan Caktiong as chair emeritus.
Also elected were Grace Tan Caktiong as chair and Gisela Tiongson as president effective May 16, 2023.
Belen Rillo, meanwhile, stepped down as JGF vice president in Nov. 2022 but remains a trustee, joining Senen Bacani, William Tan Untiong, Joseph Tanbuntiong, Ernesto Tanmantiong, Ysmael Baysa, Carl Brian Tancaktiong and Cecille Dominguez-Yujuico.
These changes were made as the Jollibee Group launched its sustainability agenda called “Joy for Tomorrow”. It seeks to integrate all existing sustainability efforts into a more cohesive framework.
At the same time, the foundation has affirmed its commitment to its priority initiatives.
These are to boost the ability of smallholder farmers to improve their livelihood through the flagship Farmer Entrepreneurship Program; fund the employment-ready training of youth from low-income communities through the Access, Curriculum and Employability Scholarship Program and, lastly, serve meals to vulnerable families especially in times of crisis through the Jollibee Group FoodAID Program.
— Tina Arceo-Dumlao
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