Philippine Telegraph and Telephone Corp. (PT&T) implemented a management revamp as it vies to become the country’s third telco player.
PT&T named James Velasquez, former IBM Philippines president and country manager, its new CEO, replacing Benjamin Bitanga, one of the company’s controlling shareholders.
PT&T announced Friday the resignation of Bitanga and Gerardo de Leon from the company’s board. Taking their place were Velasquez and Renato Garcia, who was described as a leader in the telco and IT industry with 44 years of experience.
“PT&T needs a professional who has a background in telco and IT. It is expanding rapidly and it is full time. I am not that person, so I resigned,” Bitanga said in a text message, adding that he would remain a shareholder of the company.
Bitanga and businessman Salvador Zamora II, who sits as PT&T chair, acquired the company in August last year.
Velasquez, a graduate of Electronics and Communications Engineering from the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, had spent nearly three decades in IBM in various capacities, PT&T said in a statement.
“The election of Velasquez and Garcia is vital to the business strategy and future plans of PT&T, which intends to become the third major telecom player in the Philippines,” the company added.
PT&T was established in 1962 and was once considered a rival of PLDT. It took a hit during the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis. About a decade later, it filed for corporate rehabilitation due to mounting debts—an issue that Zamora said the company would address.
“We believe PT&T is in an ideal position to vie for the third telco slot given its technical expertise, solid track record and infrastructure to back it up,” Velasquez said in the statement.
PT&T holds a 25-year franchise, which allows the company to establish, maintain and operate both wired and wireless telecommunications systems for domestic and international communications in the Philippines.
PT&T also operates a newmulti 10+ GBPS (Gigabytes per second) broadband network across National Capital Region, Cebu and in central and southern Luzon.
Garcia, in the same statement, said PT&T would continue to roll out its broadband services for businesses and homes “regardless of the third telco player outcome.”
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