By now, everybody in the Philippine business community, particularly in the IT sector, has already heard and aired their own opinions on the plagiarism controversy that had embroiled Manny V. Pangilinan, the powerful chairman and CEO of dominant carrier PLDT.
For those not yet familiar with the issue, Pangilinan delivered a commencement address at the Ateneo de Manila University that contained unaccredited passages from similar graduation speeches made by Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey and Conan O'Brien, among others.
After a blogger reportedly noticed the copied parts of the speech and before the issue even got to the public radar, Pangilinan stepped forward and admitted he was sorry for committing the error. He then offered to resign as chair of the university's Board of Trustees. The school authorities have rejected his resignation, however.
It's assumed that Pangilinan didn't write his own speech although he has not categorically said someone else drafted it for him. While everyone is curious to know who that person is, he has steadfastly protected their identity. Furthermore, he has owned up the blunder without blaming anyone but himself.
The controversy could have been easily avoided if the speechwriter simply quoted the speeches of these personalities instead of lifting them directly without proper attribution. Apparently, the writer merely searched "graduation speech" in Google and then proceeded to create a patchwork of borrowed lines.
But, I honestly think the PLDT head honcho's mea culpa was a class act.
By taking full responsibility for the speech and readily offering an apology, the CEO showed the stuff he's made of--a tough chip who's brave enough to admit his mistake and not pass the buck to some poor underling.
It's also interesting to note how Pangilinan, in that same graduation speech, narrated how he lost his high school graduation honors at San Beda when he, along with other batchmates, were caught cheating in an exam. Instead of squealing on his classmates so that he may look good in the eyes of the school authorities, he chose to confront his own shortcomings and paid the price.
Pangilinan faced the music and came out stronger in the end.
Industry Update Nic Jorge, country manager for software group of IBM Philippines, has resigned from his post to assume a new role at the local subsidiary of software titan, Microsoft. Jorge, son and namesake of the famous basketball coach, started work at Microsoft Philippines about three weeks ago handling marketing efforts targeted at the MSME (micro and small medium enterprises). IBM Philippines has yet to name his replacement.
UPS firm APC Philippines' head Philippe Reveilhac has just been promoted as the new country chief of Schneider Electric, the mother company of APC.
Beth Lui, the longtime country managing director of Accenture Philippines, has confirmed that she'll be officially joining SPi Global Solutions, the BPO arm of dominant carrier PLDT, this April. Lui will be heading the data operations of SPi, while Maulik Parekh, former country manager of TeleTech Philippines, will be handling the voice business of the company.