Ernest Cu: Legacies of a Father and a CEO

Ernest Cu, Globe President and CEO (seated, 3rd from left), with wife Arlene (seated, 1st from left) and their grandchild Parker Cu on her lap; son Martin Cu (standing second from left) with wife Ari (standing 1st from left), youngest child Arianna Cu (standing 3rd from left) with boyfriend Henry Maccready beside her, and eldest Cris Cu-Seisa (standing 5th from left) with husband Tristan Seisa.

As families across the Philippines mark Father’s Day, one prominent dad is reflecting on the invaluable wisdom parenthood has bestowed on his illustrious career.

Ernest Cu, President and CEO of Globe, has led the telecom giant for over 16 years, taking the company from challenger to leader. He juggled this demanding job with being a father of three – a role that has taught him lessons invaluable to helming a publicly-listed company.

His children– Cristina, Martin, and Arianna – served as tutors in cultivating empathy, adaptability, and the wisdom to inspire rather than mandate. These have proven handy as he shepherded a company of over 8,000 in a highly competitive and fast evolving industry.

“My kids taught me patience.  Despite being raised in the same household, the same environment, they are very different (from each other). So you have to treat them and interact with them differently at different levels,” he said.

Cu’s approach to parenting laid the framework for his effective team leadership. Rather than taking a one-size-fits-all tact, he adapts his communication style to best connect with each individual.

Just as he encourages his children to fearlessly pursue their calling and strive for mastery, Cu helps team members harness their potential and creates an environment for them to thrive.

Ernest Cu, Globe President and CEO, speaks at a Globe event.

Cu’s parenting North Star heavily influences his management tenets.  For one, he sets a strong ethical foundation, then empowers individuals to pursue their passions without rigid predetermined paths while pushing them to be the best in what they do.

His advice to his kids also applies to his team: “You can be whoever you want to be but be the best. I always believe that you will do your best if you’re happy doing something. I cannot force you.  You won’t be good at it because you were forced. It’s really what your natural inclination is, follow it and you will be good.”

With his people-first approach, Globe has transformed from a contender to a leader in the telecom industry, boldly venturing into new markets with an unrelenting commitment to uplifting lives.

Cu’s ability for fearless disruption and nurturing spirit is the lynchpin of his leadership both at work and home. At his core, he prioritizes progress through cultivating strong bonds and fostering rich personal legacies.

“Relationships matter significantly to me, whether it’s leading people or managing business relationships,” he says. “You always want the best for everybody in the same way you want the best for your family.”

It’s these lasting connections that most excite the executive about the future— from creating new multigenerational memories on upcoming family vacations to cementing Globe’s enduring footprint through continued innovation.

At this intersection of work and life is where Cu shines. There are no divided roles, just a holistic person bringing the same values, vision and love into the boardroom, as much as into his living room. His leadership style is defined by seamlessly blending the devoted father and elite CEO into one integrated persona.