Philippine Airlines has appointed Gilbert F. Santa Maria as President and Chief Operating Officer.
Santa Maria takes over the role from
Jaime J. Bautista who retired in June after almost 15 years in
Santa Maria was a handpicked
nominee of PAL Chairman and CEO, Dr. Lucio C. Tan.
"I call on all PAL executives and staff to
support Gilbert Santa Maria. Let's work together and help him face
PAL's many challenges," Dr. Tan said.
Maria is leaving his Los Angeles-based advisory firm to join
Philippine Airlines in Manila.
He has a Master’s in Public and
Private Management from the Yale University School of Management
and a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of the
Philippines in Diliman. He was born and raised in Mindanao.
The new airline President
has three decades of executive management and leadership
experience gained across multiple industries in companies around
For the last 15 years, Santa Maria was a key leader
and contributor in Philippines’ highly successful BPO
industry. Until early 2018 he was COO of Washington, DC-based BPO
company Ibex Global and was responsible for its 18,000 employees
around the world. Before IBEX, he was COO and CFO of IQ
BackOffice, a California-based finance and accounting outsourcer
that was an investee company of LiveIt Investments, Ayala
Corporation’s BPO holding company.
He supported the
governance of LiveIt’s investee companies as a member of the
boards of IQ BackOffice; Integreon, a London- based KPO; and
Stream, a leading Massachusetts-based global Call Center company.
Before that, he led Corporate Development for Stream, having
joined its leadership after its 2009 merger with Arizona-based eTelecare Global Solutions, where he led Corporate Development and eTelecare’s 11,000-employee Philippine Operations through the
integration of the two companies. He joined the startup eTelecare
Prior to joining the BPO industry, Santa Maria
helped lead a Singapore-based internet 1.0 startup called
Similan.com. He was Executive Director of Argosy Partners, which
was organized by Filipino business leaders in the wake of the
Asian currency crisis in 1998 to be the Philippine affiliate of
global Private Equity funds like Warburg Pincus, Chase Capital and
GE Investments. He was one of the youngest General Managers of
Pepsi Cola Products Philippines’ Manila Operations.
was also a management consultant at Booz Allen & Hamilton in New
York where he led various strategy and operations consulting
engagements for global clients like P&G, J&J, BOC of the UK and
BHP of Australia. He started his career as a management trainee in
production and engineering at Unilever in Manila.