ABS-CBN Corp said Eugenio "Gabby" Lopez III has resigned as chairman emeritus and director due to personal reasons. The company revealed the shakeup as it accelerated its shift to digital following Congress' denial of its broadcast franchise.
Lopez is the son of Eugenio "Geny" Lopez Jr., who rebuilt ABS-CBN after the restoration of democracy in 1986. The ABS-CBN board accepted his resignation "with regret" at a stockholders' meeting on Thursday.
Gabby Lopez also quit as director of other Lopez-owned companies: ABS-CBN Holdings, Sky Vision, Sky Cable Corp, First Philippine Holdings, First Gen and Rockwell Land.
Recall that ABS-CBN Holdings issues the Philippine Deposit Receipts or PDRs that lawmakers latched on to question the foreign ownership of ABS-CBN. They also questioned Lopez's citizenship. Lopez and ABS-CBN denied any wrongdoing.
"We thank him for his dedication and leadership in expanding and transforming ABS-CBN beyond television through the years," ABS-CBN said.
"Just like his father, Eugenio 'Kapitan Geny' Lopez Jr., Gabby is a visionary and a 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," ABS-CBN said.
In a full digital pivot, ABS-CBN now streams its content to 29.4 million followers of its entertainment channel on YouTube and 10 million for news, the most for any Filipino media company. It has been off the air since early May.
Lopez's cousin, ABS-CBN CEO Carlo Katigbak, told shareholders on Thursday that the company would focus on its core capability -- content creation.
ABS-CBN talents have begun shifting to TV 5 as blocktimers, meaning they produce the shows and buy airtime from the broadcaster controlled by businessman Manuel Pangilinan.
"Now more than ever, we can focus on our core capabilities, creating programs to entertain, inspire and give joy for Filipino families and delivering news that informs, educates and helps our Kababayan especially in their time of need," Katigbak said.