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Ownership culture: Lance Gokongwei allocates P552M stock perks to keep old, attract new talents in Cebu Pacific

Bilyonaryo Lance Gokongwei is adopting a long-term incentive plan for Cebu Pacific (CEB) to stabilize its workforce through the boom and bust cycle of the airline industry.

Gokongwei wants Cebu Pacific crew and ground staff to have an “ownership culture” after being forced to lay off a third of its employees since the COVID-19 crisis wreaked havoc on the airline industry worldwide. The budget airline lost P22.2 billion in 2020 due to the “heavy impact of the unprecedented Covid-19 crisis.”

The Gokongwei-chaired board of Cebu Air (CEB), Cebu Pacific’s parent, approved the company’s employee long term incentive plan which will allocate up to two percent of its issued and outstanding common shares to be granted to eligible employees. This means there will be 12.264 million CEB shares worth P552 million for distribution to employees.

CEB said the create “equity interest” in Cebu Pacific and foster identification with ‘shareholder interests’ toward common goals of the corporation by fostering an ‘ownership culture’ in which employees take a greater interest in the factors driving long-term business success.”

CEB also hoped to “increase internal employee retention (especially for key talents) to stay with the corporation and contribute to longer term business objectives, while improving attraction of new external talent; and improve the total compensation of employees by allowing eligible employees to build personal wealth through equity value appreciation of the corporation’s stocks.”

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