Manny Rubio: Creating A Well-Oiled Machine Through An Employee First Approach

Manny Rubio: Creating A Well-Oiled Machine Through An Employee First Approach

Manny Rubio , President & CEO

Manny Rubio

President & CEO

ABOITIZPOWER is one of the Philippines’ leading energy companies. It is the Aboitiz Group’s holding firm for its power investments. The organization’s presence in power generation, distribution, and retail electricity services allows it to provide customers across the country with reliable, reasonably priced, and responsibly produced energy solutions.

Manny Rubio is ABOITIZPOWER’S President and CEO and, under his leadership, ABOITIZPOWER continues to expand its horizons and reach for greater heights. As a business leader, Manny Rubio encourages employees tothink outside the box. The Aboitiz Group's Great Transformation 2025 roadmap challenges its team members to transform themselves and be part of an organization whose purpose is to change energy for a better world. In an exclusive interview with CEO Insights Asia, Manny Rubio talks about his professional journey and his unique leadership approaches.

Give a brief account of your professional journey.

I began my journey at a multinational company called Consolidated Industrial Gases Inc. (CIGI), where I rose from the ranks and had the opportunity to hold several leadership positions in the Philippines and abroad for 20 years. I first joined Aboitiz as President and Chief Executive Officer of SN Aboitiz Power (SNAP), a joint venture between Norway's Scatec and ABOITIZPOWER, which operates large hydropower systems in the Philippines. My SNAP leadership later led me to the position of chief operating officer of ABOITIZPOWER's Generation Group. Fast forward to today, as ABOITIZPOWER's President and CEO, I am at the helm of the organization's transformation journey toward a better world.

Tell us about how the lessons learned from the university have helped your journey so far.

I completed NTU Singapore's strategic management program after getting sponsored by my former employer. During the program, I gained invaluable insights into critical management skills, such as developing strategies and identifying critical risks when making decisions. These lessons have proved to be incredibly useful on my journey since leaving university. The program taught me how to approach decision-making more strategically. By identifying potential risks and weighing the consequences of different options, I am better equipped to make informed decisions that will benefit myself and my team in the long run. I also learned the importance of developing a clear and concise strategy. Whether for a project or an entire organization, having a well-defined strategy helps align everyone toward a common goal and ensures that resources are utilized effectively.

Define ABOITIZPOWER’s position in the market.

We are in the midst of a significant transformation as we work to achieve our massive transformative purpose of ‘Transforming Energy for a Better World’. This bold vision for the future is centered around 3Ds. The first D stands for decarbonization, reflecting our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint and investing in more sustainable energy sources. The second D represents digitalization, as we seek to leverage technology and innovation to optimize our operations and improve the customer experience. Finally, the third D stands for decentralization. We explore new markets and opportunities beyond our core business to drive growth and achieve our long-term goals.

What factors do you consider when developing effective corporate growth strategies?

For us, growth must be consistent with our overarching strategy, centered around transitioning to a decarbonized portfolio while addressing the energy trilemma. The energy trilemma balances three key factors: reliability, cost-effectiveness, and responsible electricity production. These pillars underpin our approach to growth. Any new projects we pursue must meet these criteria to be truly effective. When evaluating potential growth opportunities, we always look for projects that will deliver sustainable, profitable growth that can help power the Philippine economy. We recognize that our success is deeply intertwined with the success of the communities we serve.

What is your future roadmap?

I focus on ensuring that we fulfill our 2030 vision of achieving a 50:50 balanced mix portfolio and that our organization is fully prepared. One of my key priorities is ensuring we have succession plans for all critical positions within our company. This will ensure that we have the right people to continue driving our growth and success well into the future. In addition, I am also looking at ways to contribute to developing sound energy policies for the country. This includes working closely with government and industry stakeholders to ensure we can provide Filipinos with reliable, affordable, and sustainable power.

What would be your advice to leaders stepping into this industry?

I would first emphasize the importance of understanding the industry. This means having a solid grasp of the landscape and dynamics of the industry, including key trends and challenges, as w ell a s t he r egulatory e nvironment. A nother critical factor for success in this industry is effectively managing stakeholders.

As a leader in this industry, you need to know what you want & be willing to work hard to make it happen

This includes engaging with customers, suppliers, regulators, and other key players in the industry to build strong relationships and partnerships that will help drive growth and success. It is also essential for leaders to be conscious of their company's social impact and to recognize that corporate success can lead to social development. Also, another lesson I have learned throughout my career is the importance of dreaming big. As a leader in this industry, you need to know what you want and be willing to work hard to make it happen.


As a leader, Manny Rubio recognizes that the best ideas can come from anyone within the organization, so he gives major emphasis on empowering the employees to be creative in their workplaces. He has also been awarded on numerous occasions including being awarded the Don Ramon Aboitiz Award of Excellence (2012), and the Asian Power CEO of the Year award (2012).

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