CEB announces changing of guards
By EMMIE V. ABADILLA
The Gokongwei-owned Cebu Air Inc. (CEB) announced the changing of guards on the first day of the New Year, 2023.
According to the airline, Gokongwei Group and CEB’s President and CEO, Lance Y. Gokongwei, will become chairman of CEB while current Chief Executive Adviser, Michael Szucs, will become Chief Executive Officer.
CEB's current Chief Commercial Officer, Alexander Lao, will now be President and Chief Commercial Officer.
However, James L. Go will continue to be an Adviser to the CEB Board and Executive Committee to ensure l his institutional wisdom is carried over as CEB transitions to a new organization.
CEB's Board of Directors approved the changes to its leadership team after their December 5, 2022 meeting.
In his capacity as CEO, Szucs will formally lead CEB and report to the Chairman and will work closely with our Board of Directors and the Gokongwei Group’s Executive Committee and Executive Leadership Council.
With this move, Szucs becomes the Accountable Manager who has overall accountability for the operations of Cebu Air, Inc., as recognized by and documented in the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), the company disclosed.
Szucs joined CEB in 2016, "bringing with him solid executive leadership spanning over 20 years across 6 global airlines".
With Szucs’ guidance, CEB has seen unparalleled growth and has been at the heart of things in building resiliency and agility that helped the company weather the most challenging crisis in the industry, and which will surely serve CEB well in the years to come.
For his part, Lao will have an expanded role as President, taking a more active role in supporting the Chief Executive Officer in strategic execution and stakeholder management, including regulators, government partners and investors.
Prior to this appointment, Lao was Vice President for Commercial Planning before becoming Chief Strategy Officer where he led the Corporate Strategy Office that played an integral part in CEB’s Future Size and Shape initiative in 2020.
He also previously served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Cebgo, Inc.
Lao’s ascent on the corporate ladder "solidifies what has long been a plan of succession to create a future-ready leadership pipeline", CEB disclosed.
On the other hand, Gokongwei will continue to lend his experience and strategic advice to CEB as its new Chairman, on top of his responsibility in presiding all meetings of the stockholders and the Board of Directors.
Even before assuming the helm of the company, Gokongwei's vision had always been to professionalize the family enterprise.