Lopez steps down as Meralco chairman

Posted at 05/29/12 4:05 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- Manuel Lopez is stepping down effective immediately as chairman of power retailer Manila Electric Co., Lopez told shareholders on Tuesday.

Lopez addressed shareholders of the utility for the last time as chairman during the company’s stockholders meeting today.

The board has named Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan as the power company’s new chairman and Oscar Reyes as president and chief executive officer.

In his farewell speech to the company’s stockholders, Lopez, who is currently the country’s ambassador to Japan, reminisced about his 36 years with Meralco, as he paid tribute to its employees.

Lopez, whose family previously controlled Meralco, attributed the company’s success to the employees values of “malasakit,” integrity, teamwork, customer focus and volunteerism.

Lopez also looked back at the several attempts of the government to wrestle control of Meralco but did not succeed.

“I leave this company with full confidence in the leadership of (Pangilinan)...who will bring the company to greater heights,” he said.

Lopez also jokingly asked Pangilian to make the Meralco Bolts a champion in the Philippine Basketball Association.

Pangilinan, for his part, acknowledged a debt of gratitude to Lopez and asked him to stay with the company as it reaches new heights.

Lopez will remain as a member of the new Merlco board, which also includes San Miguel Corp. president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang, ABC Development Corp. (TV5) president and chief executive officer Ray Espinosa, Metro Pacific Investments Corp. president Jose K. Lim, lawyer and San Miguel director Estelito Mendoza, retired chief justice Artemio Panganiban, Vicente Panlilio, Petron Corp. president Eric Recto, and Roxas Holdings Inc. chairman Pedro Roxas.

Roxas and Panganiban will sit as independent directors.

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