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PLDT starts search for new CEO

After the announcement of new appointments in management, PLDT Inc. will start the selection process for a new CEO to lead the digital pivot by second-half of next year to be able to name the new head no later than 2018. File photo

MANILA, Philippines - After the announcement of new appointments in management, PLDT Inc. will start the selection process for a new CEO to lead the digital pivot by second-half of next year to be able to name the new head no later than 2018.

As PLDT is hoping to see better performance in terms of core earnings by next year, the company is bent on lowering capital expenditures and having greater scrutiny on spending to ensure investments would generate revenues.

“I would hope that we could find a CEO in the second-half and I could let go by either end-2017 or no later than early 2018,” PLDT chairman, president and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan told reporters.

Pangilinan who assumed the position of president and CEO of PLDT after the retirement of Napoleon Nazareno on Dec.31 of last year, said he hopes the search process could start in the second-half of next year with the new management team on board by January next year.

Earlier this week, PLDT announced leadership changes and appointments as part of the company’s ongoing digital transformation pivot.

Pangilinan said PLDT would need a new CEO who would have the fortitude to take the job in leading the company’s new digital thrust.

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“He has to be ready to die for the job, give up his family. Those are my strictures. Work over family. Period. If I could see that in that person, you’re it. You know, there is always a price you pay for the life you choose,” he said when asked for the non-negotiables for the position.

To start the search process, he said improvements should be seen in key metrics such as core profitability and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), as well as in terms of network improvement, brand definition and data analytics.

He said PLDT is looking to establish a baseline position of normalized core income of P20 billion without exceptionals such as gains from asset sales as well as impact of subsidies, for this year from which it could take off in the coming years.

In terms of EBITDA, the guidance is at P60 billion this year.

For now, Pangilinan said he would like to see some progress under his watch.

“I think there will be next year,” he said.

He said PLDT is looking to reduce capex for next year to around P40 billion level from a high of P48 billion this year.

“I think part of it is our desire to scrutinize our capex spend to ensure the money, each dollar is appropriately spent in the right places and produces the revenues, not necessarily this year but in the coming years,” he said.

As fixed-line is expected to drive the growth for telcos in the next three years, he said PLDT is also set to undertake massive efforts to expand the fixed-line network.

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