Businessman Eugenio Lopez III resigned as chairman emeritus and director of ABS-CBN Corp. for “personal reasons” as the network continued to face financial and regulatory difficulties this year.
Lopez also tendered his resignation as director of ABS-CBN Holdings Corp., Sky Vision Corp., Sky Cable Corp., First Philippine Holdings Corp., First Gen Corp. and Rockwell Land Corp. effective immediately.
He expressed his appreciation for the trust of the stockholders, co-directors and senior management and for the privilege of having served with them over the years.
The board of directors of ABS-CBN accepted the resignation of Lopez with regret .
“We thank him for his dedication and leadership in expanding and transforming ABS-CBN beyond television through the years. Just like his father, Eugenio ‘Kapitan Geny’ Lopez Jr., Gabby is a visionary and a compassionate leader driven by his love for the Philippines and the Filipino people. He would always tell the men and women of ABS-CBN that being a part of the network is not a job, but a calling,” the network said in a statement.
“We respect his decision, offer him our full support and express our sincerest gratitude for the tradition of innovation, nationalism and public service that he cultivated in the minds and hearts of all Kapamilyas, past and present,” it said.
ABS-CBN president and chief executive Carlo Katigbak said during the company’s annual stockholders’ meeting “we will continue to face difficult times in 2020.”
“Correspondingly, we have undertaken measures to ensure the continuity of our operations. In response to the current situation, we have reduced the number of programs we produce to save on cost and focus on those that have the largest audiences,” he said.Katigbak said the company had to retrench nearly 5,000 employees after Congress denied the franchise of ABS-CBN and ABS-CBN Convergence.
“And many of the remaining employees have volunteered to take pay cuts to help the company manage its cash flow,” he said.
Katigbak said the company continued to bring some of its shows to people via cable TV and satellite partners, the Internet and partner platforms like Facebook and Youtube and in partnership with global media companies.
ABS-CBN’s revenue grew by 7 percent in 2019 to P42.8 billion from P40 billion in 2018, while net income amounted increased 55 percent to P2.9 billion from P1.9 billion.
“However, due to the denial of the franchise of ABS-CBN Corp., the inaction of the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN Convergence and the closures of Kidzania and the ABS Experience Store because of COVID-19, we were constrained to take a one-time, asset impairment charge of P5.6 billion,” Katigbak said.
“This reduced our net income from P2.9 billion to an accounting net loss of P2.6 billion. These impairment charges have no impact on cash flow,” he said.