GMA Network will have a new CEO by 2024.
Atty. Felipe L. Gozon, who turned 84 last Friday, Dec. 8, announced his retirement as the chief executive officer of GMA Network Inc. He added that he will still hold the positions of Chairman of the Board and Adviser to the corporation.
"The GMA Board of Directors has approved my retirement as Chief Executive Officer effective December 31, 2023. But I will continue as Chairman/Adviser and Chairman of the Programming Committee," he said during the celebration of his birthday.
Meanwhile, Gozon also shared that Gilberto R. Duavit, Jr., GMA's President and Chief Operating Officer, will take over as CEO on January 1, 2024.
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To get to know Duavit better, continue reading below.
Like father, like son
Duavit Jr. carries the legacy of his father, Gilberto "Bibit" Duavit Sr., one of the three pioneers who built GMA Network Incorporated alongside Gozon and Menardo Jimenez.
Following his father's footsteps, he joined GMA's Board of Directors in 1999 and has been the chairman of the network's executive committee since August 2000. He was named executive vice president and chief operating officer in November 2000 and ultimately elected as the company's president in 2010.
A film and television producer
A multifaceted leader, Duavit has worn many hats. Since 1991, he served as the president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Film Experts Inc., a magnetic storage and optical disc manufacturer.
He also produced the first two movies of GMA Films in 1998, Sa Pusod ng Dagat, starring Jomari Yllana and Chin Chin Gutierrez, and the historical drama José Rizal, starring Cesar Montano. A year later, he again produced the hit Filipino adventure film Muro-ami, also top-billed by Montano. He received the Metro Manila Film Festival Award for Best Picture twice consecutively for both films.
In television, Duavit conceptualized the 17-episode horror drama series Liwanag ng Hatinggabi, which premiered on December 6, 1999, starring Lorna Tolentino, Angelika Dela Cruz, and Victor Neri in the lead roles.
Duavit is also one of the men behind the award-winning Pinoy crime film Deathrow as its producer. The film, directed by Joel Lamangan, made waves in various international film festivals, including the Cairo International Film Festival in Egypt, the Toronto International Film Festival in Canada, and the Busan International Film Festival in South Korea, among others.
Among the country's richest men
Adding another feather to his already impressive cap, Forbes also named Duavit among the Philippines' 50 richest in August 2023. He secured the 37th spot with a net worth of $350 million or more than P19 billion. Gozon and Jimenez are also part of the list.
Beyond business, Duavit also dedicates his time and resources to uplifting the lives of Filipinos through his role as the president and a trustee of GMA Kapuso Foundation, Inc. It is the network's civic engagement firm aiming to improve the lives of "underprivileged Filipinos all over the Philippines."
Moreover, he is also a trustee of the Guronasyon Foundation, Inc., and a board advisor of the HERO Foundation.
Duavit holds a bachelor's degree in Philosophy from the University of the Philippines (UP).