Pangilinan, chairman of PLDT, was forced to retake PLDT’s top posts when its president and CEO Polly Nazareno retired in 2015 which he described as a “time of trauma and decline.”
“I would be less than honest with you if I say that I knew from the start what to do, where PLDT should be going. Rather, I had my own dark nights of doubt and long days of despondency,” said a Pangilinan in his final speech as president and CEO of PLDT during the telco’s annual stockholders’ meeting on June 8.
Pangilinan will remain as chairman while his protege, Al Panlilio, will take over as president and CEO.
“I asked for your prayers, and God’s help, that we might bring our company back to the premiere position it once held…But because we came together as one, hope was nurtured, and we healed,” Pangilinan added.
He ranked PLDT’s fall to no. 2 in the wireless business to fierce rival Globe in 2015 as one of the low points in his 23 years in PLDT, at the same level as the P40 billion debt restructuring of Piltel in 1999 and liquidity issues in 2001 that were exacerbated by the 9-11 terrorist attacks in New York City.
Pangilinan said he fixed PLDT’s networks and made them “the best in the country”, led its transformation from legacy to digital, beefed up its “management bench” and rallied his troops to unite for a single purpose and common passion.
PLDT-Smart spent P460.8 billion in the last 10 years to build a 478,000-kilometer fiber infrastructure serving 96 percent of the population from Batanes to Tawi-Tawi.
As he stepped down from the driver’s seat, Pangilinan said he had achieved his goal to rejuvenate PLDT as the foremost telco in the country.
“We are now a stronger company, establishing historic high revenues and EBITDA these past five years. And as the only integrated telco, we have re-created our dominant position across product lines,” said Pangilinan.
“I look forward to a PLDT dauntless in facing crises of the worst kind as we did with COVID, fearless in embracing opportunities for innovation or expansion, and resolute in preserving the ground we have retaken: never again shall we yield,” he added.