The success of a CEO is often measured by performance indicators that underscore financial gains, operational efficiency, and shareholder value. But behind these metrics lie a greater achievement, especially for working parents, or fathers for that matter: raising their kids well.
Frederick D. Ong, President and CEO of Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines Inc. (PCPPI), couldn’t agree more. “I’m proudest when people say our children were brought up well, God-fearing, and have good hearts,” he said.
Ong, who was appointed in 2020 as head of PCPPI—the exclusive manufacturer of PepsiCo beverages in the country—has over 25 years of senior-level executive and expat experience. But his role as a father is what drives him to achieve more these days. He is happily married to Gretchen Ong for 25 years now and has two daughters aged 24 and 21.
“I think the common misconception about working parents is that we don’t dedicate enough time to our kids. As parents and career professionals, we are actually inspired to work better and harder because of our family. We spend and value quality time with our children every day.”
For him, there are similarities between heading a company and a family. “As a parent and leading a company, you are there to nurture the people and provide them with the necessary support to help them become the best version of themselves,” he said.
“You also need to understand that each individual in your family or company is different, and they are all important and special in their own right. Give people your support, but give practical and real advice at the same time. Be hands-on and value each one of them,” he continued.
Outside his professional life, Ong said he enjoys his time with his family. “Anything from a simple movie night or dinner together to traveling in different places. Lately, as my two daughters are already working and studying outside of the Philippines, a simple video call unwinds me and makes my day happy.”
Ong joins the many working dads who are being celebrated this Father’s Day. Sharing one of the greatest lessons he learned, Ong recalled, “My father always reminded me to count my blessings, work hard, and be resilient. He taught me the values of respect and being kind to others.”
He may be serious about achieving work targets, but he is equally focused on enriching his family life. “I enjoy being a dad and husband first,” Ong pronounced.
He may have his plate full, but he has no regrets. “Absolutely no regrets at all. Having children is a true blessing.” And this is what he values most, an indicator of a successful life.