Gabby Lopez elected ABS-CBN chairman emeritus

MANILA, Philippines – Eugenio "Gabby" Lopez III is now the chairman emeritus of ABS-CBN Corporation, after over two decades as the chairman of the media conglomerate. Succeeding him as chairman is his cousin, Martin "Mark" Lopez.

In an organizational meeting on Thursday, April 19, ABS-CBN's board of directors elected the two executives as "part of the company's succession planning process." (READ: FAST FACTS: What you should know about ABS-CBN)

The 65-year-old Gabby is the second chairman emeritus in the company's history, following in the footsteps of his father Eugenio "Geny" Lopez Jr, who was given the title after Gabby became chairman in 1997.

"As every athlete knows, there comes a time when inevitably it's time to let go of the reins and allow others to take over. My father has always said 'broadcasting' is for the young. After all, today's digital world is vastly difficult from the world I managed," said Gabby in a speech on Thursday.

In a statement, ABS-CBN credited Gabby for transforming the company "from being the country's biggest broadcasting network into being the country's leading media and entertainment company."

"Under his helm, ABS-CBN diversified into various successful ventures that include interactive and online media, international and domestic cable and satellite channels, broadband services, sports programming, consumer products and licensing, digital TV, and immersive experiences," added ABS-CBN.

Under Gabby's chairmanship, ABS-CBN had launched SkyCable, The Filipino Channel, TFC.tv, iWant TV, and ABS-CBN TVplus.

ABS-CBN CHAIRMAN. Martin 'Mark' Lopez succeeds Eugenio 'Gabby' Lopez III. Photo from ABS-CBN Corporation

ABS-CBN CHAIRMAN. Martin 'Mark' Lopez succeeds Eugenio 'Gabby' Lopez III.

Photo from ABS-CBN Corporation

Gabby's successor Mark was previously the company's chief technology officer. ABS-CBN said he was "identified as a successor as early as 5 years ago."

"Mark was responsible for setting the company's strategic directions and ensuring operational excellence in information and communications, as well as technology broadcast engineering," said ABS-CBN.

"He spearheaded ABS-CBN's system modernization, highlighted by the migration to the cloud and the automation of content creation and delivery to various media platforms. He was also responsible for ABS-CBN's migration to HD and the completion of the digital terrestrial television (DTT) infrastructure."

Mark said he would "take to heart" the media's role in nation-building.

"I accept this huge responsibility of carrying on the company’s vision of being in the service of the Filipino – using the blueprint of excellence and innovation set by Gabby. ABS-CBN has played an instrumental role in nation-building in the past 65 years," he said.

Before joining ABS-CBN, Mark was with the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) for 13 years. – Rappler.com