Carlo Katigbak had one job as chief executive of embattled media conglomerate ABS-CBN. He was paid the big bucks not only to secure the investment of the company’s shareholders but to ensure an acceptable return on their investment is squeezed out of the enterprise every year. But under Katigbak’s watch, ABS-CBN share prices had gone down more than 15 percent over the last 12 months and are down more than five percent year to date at the close of Friday trading. That’s not that big a disaster considering the network’s disastrous year having fought and lost a battle to have its franchise to broadcast renewed. With that bomb going off, a huge chunk of the company’s annual revenue stream dried up. Katigbak failed to defuse that bomb while he could.
If I were a shareholder of ABS-CBN, I’d be hopping mad and calling for Katigbak’s head. Most of the chatter on social media painting ABS-CBN as a victim are not hard-nosed investors. They blame everything and everyone for the demise of the Philippines’ biggest media network — everyone, that is, except its CEO Carlo Katigbak. Indeed, so full are they of the Kool Aid poured down their throats by the hotshot mega-paid PR and brand managers of ABS-CBN that they forget that it is the job of any executive management team of any business to ensure this sort of disaster does not happen and its shareholders are kept laughing all the way to the bank year in and year out.
Katigbak’s job was to do what it takes to ensure ABS-CBN kept enriching its shareholders. Everything short of doing just that are mere excuses. Failing to do that means failure as a CEO. It’s really that simple. A CEO’s job is that simple. You fuck up, your head rolls.
How did Katigbak fuck up? He did not do what it took to keep the company he was singularly accountable for afloat in the political storm. See, when you are responsible for the wealth of your shareholders and the livelihoods of your employees, you kiss the asses of everyone who has the power to shut your business down. ABS-CBN fantards insist that history will judge those congressmen who voted to not renew the network’s broadcast franchise. I don’t think so. When all the chi chi idealism over “principles and integrity” dissipates and all everyone has left are a bunch of unemployed former ABS-CBN employees losing their homes and making a beeline for the GMA Network’s Department for Hiring and Firing, a child-like voice will pipe up from the woodwork and regard the naked emperor: Carlo Katigbak should have just kissed Duterte’s ass.
Will Katigbak’s head roll? If it does not, if the members of the ABS-CBN Board are too inbred to do their job, Katigbak should do the right thing — the honourable thing.
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