|Birth-Name||Oscar M. Lopez|
|Born||April 19, 1930|
Oscar M. Lopez Oscar M. Lopez is the Chairman Emeritus of the Lopez Holdings Corporation (formerly known as Benpres Holdings Corporation). Benpres is the publicly-listed holding company of the Lopez family for major investments in broadcasting, telecommunications and cable, power generation and distribution, and road and water infrastructure. First Holdings is the specific associate holding company for power generation and distribution. He stepped down as the Chairman in 2010 and his brother, Manuel Lopez, succeeded him. He is the uncle ABS-CBN Chairman and CEO, Eugenio Lopez, III. In 2010, Forbes listed him as the 11th richest Filipino with a networth of USD480 million.
During World War Two, Oscar and his brother Geny, and group of 80 people, had to walk down for three days from Baguio to escape the fight between the US and Japanese. The two took turns in carrying their brother Manalo Lopez who was only two at that time.
A year later, he moved to Bellarmine School in San Francisco California to finish his high school.
He studied at Harvard College and graduated cum laude Bachelors of Arts 1951. In 1955, he finished his Master’s degree in Public Administration at the Littauer School of Public Administration.
Martial Law years
Lopez came back to the Philippines in 1960 and assumed the position of publisher Manila Chronicles, which his father founded. He went on to hold the position for the next six years. Five years later, he joined the Meralco Securities Corporation and headed the economic research and development department.
When former President Ferdinand Marcos declared Martial Law and had his family exiled to US, Lopez remained behind to take care of their businesses. His brother Geny Lopez was imprisoned to force Eugenio Lopez, Sr. to hand over Meralco and Meralco Securities Corporation (renamed to First Philippine Holding Corporation) to the Benjamin Romualdez. Despite this act, Geny was not released from prison even after the elder Lopez died while in exile.
After the People Power Revolution in 1986, Lopez became the CEO of First Philippine Holding Corporation (FPHC). Despite having liabilities worth over P2 billion, FPHC, under the leadership of Lopez, became profitable just four years after.
When his brother, Geny died of lung cancer in 1999, he became the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Office of the Benpres Holdings Corporation, the holding company of the Lopezes for their various businesses. It was later renamed to Lopez Holdings Corporation.
In June 12, 2010, Oscar Lopez relinquished his position as Chairman and CEO to his brother, Manalo. He took the role of Chairman Emeritus since then. He also stepped down as Chairman and CEO of FPHC and appointed his son, Frederico Lopez to succeed him.
Among other positions he holds are Chairman of the Board of Lopez, Inc., First Generation Corporation, First Balfour, Inc., First Philippine Electric Corporation, First Philippine Industrial Corporation, First Sumiden Circuits, Inc. and First Philec Solar Corporation.
He is also the Vice Chairman of the Rockwell Land Corporation. He is also a Director of ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation.
He brought in Tuck Global Consultancy, a branch of the Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, to examine the Lopez Group's social responsibility activities in 2001. To help implement Tuck's recommendations, Oscar has recently announced the creation of the Lopez Group Foundation, Inc., a new framework for the coordination of his company's many and varied corporate philanthropy programs.
Philosophy in life
A staunch supporter of corporate social responsibility, Mr. Lopez is involved in a number of social concerns. He is chairman and president of the Eugenio Lopez Foundation, which houses a major Filipiniana museum and library. He is member of the international board of Conservation International, a global environmental group devoted to biodiversity conservation, and chairman of First Philippine Conservation, Inc. He is also chairman of the Ophthalmological Foundation of the Philippines, an eye care outreach for indigents, and member of the Philippine Business for Social Progress.
Contribution to the Community
In addition to priorities such as child welfare and education (see main story in this issue), the Lopez Group's philanthropic agenda includes environmental protection and poverty alleviation. To conserve some of the world's richest-and most endangered-regions of biodiversity, Oscar Lopez in 1999 established First Philippine Conservation, Inc. (FPCI), which partners with Conservation International on projects such as protection of the country's largest remaining block of old-growth rainforest in the Sierra Madre range. Oscar's son Federico ("Piki") is president of FPCI. On the business side, Piki heads the Lopez Group's holding company for its power generation investments, First Generation Holdings Corp.
The Lopez portfolio also includes a range of community development initiatives. Under the leadership of Manolo Lopez, Oscar's younger brother, for example, the family's electric distribution company, Meralco, has undertaken an electrification program for depressed urban and rural areas in its franchise that has benefited nearly 500,000 households. The Lopez Group is also partnering with Philippine Business for Social Progress and a range of local stakeholders on an integrated development project for 4,440 families uprooted by a Manila Bay reclamation project in 1993.
Awards and Recognitions
- Management Man of the Year by the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) in 2001.
- Top 20 CEOs in Asia by the Asian Business Leader Awards (ABLA) in 2004
- Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 2005 (He was the first Filipino businessman to be accorded the honor.)
- Recognized by Forbes as “Hero of Philanthropy” and was named Outstanding Manilan in corporate leadership and social responsibility in 2007.
- Conferred the first Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Distinguished Citizen Award in 2008
- Received the Outstanding Filipino Award (TOFIL) in 2009.
- Received the Lifetime Achievement Award in the 2010 Communication Excellence in Organizations (CEO Excel) Awards in 2010.
- Awarded the Ramon V. del Rosario, Sr. Award for Nation Building in 2011
Oscar Lopez is married to Connie Rufino for 53 years and eight children and 27 grandchildren. His character was portrayed by Audie Gemora in Undaunted, a musicale tribute to the Lopez Group of Companies.
Mountain climbing experience
Oscar Lopez is a known mountaineer, having climbed some of the highest mountains in the Philippines including:
- Mount Pinatubo in 2003
- Mount Arayat in 2006
- Mount Pulag in 2007
- Mount Apo in 2008
- Mount Kanlaon in 2010
- Forbes 40 richest Filipinos
- Lopez Holdings
- "AboutTheChairman.php About the Chairman", (accessed on July 20, 2007)
- Oscar Lopez: Living life well
- Oscar Lopez: Show me the numbers
- Oscar Lopez steps down as Benpress CEO
- Oscar Lopez turns 80
- Oscar Lopez to step down as FPHC CEO and Chairman
- Undaunted, the Musicale
- "Lopez Family values", (accessed on July 20, 2007)
- "Picture of Oscar Lopez", (accessed on July 20, 2007)