Eugenio “Gabby” Lopez III has resigned as chairman emeritus and director of ABS-CBN Corporation due to personal reasons.
ABS-CBN announced in an official press statement that Lopez has also tendered his resignation as director of ABS-CBN Holdings Corporation, Sky Vision Corporation, Sky Cable Corporation, First Philippine Holdings Corporation, First Gen Corporation, and Rockwell Land Corporation.
Lopez "expressed his appreciation for the trust of the stockholders as well as to his co-directors and senior management for the privilege of having served with them over the years," ABS-CBN reported.
The board of directors of ABS-CBN accepted with regret the resignation of Lopez.
“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 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.
"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. We shall continue the journey that he and his father began as we remain in the service ofthe Filipino."
Mario Luza Bautista, the general counsel of the company, was elected by the board of directors to fill the vacancy. He has been with the company as general counsel of the company and a member of the board of advisors of the company since 2011. He is also a board adviser of First Philippine Holdings Corporation and a founding partner of the Poblador Bautista and Reyes Law Office and has been its managing partner since 1999.
While Lopez has resigned from his executive positions in the company, he's still a shareholder. According to the public ownership report of Lopez Holding Corporation on June 30, 2020, Lopez owns 3,807,823 direct shares or 0.08% of total outstanding shares.
It can be recalled that Lopez' citizenship was questioned by some House members during the hearing for ABS-CBN's franchise renewal last June. According to the lawmakers, Lopez is not qualified to run the family-owned mass media company as he is also an American citizen, even after the Department of Justice confirmed that it is not an issue since he also holds a Filipino citizenship.
Because of the franchise non-renewal, ABS-CBN had to stop its broadcasts and shift to online livestreams. Hundreds of employees were also laid off from their jobs.
After control of the network was returned to the Lopezes by Cory Aquino’s government in 1986, Lopez was appointed general manager.
Lopez became CEO of ABS-CBN in 1993, and chairman emeritus in 1997. In the same year, he created the Lopez Communications Group, which managed the strategies of the corporations different holdings, including BayanTel and SkyCable.