Carlos Slim Helú, a Mexican businessman, CEO of Telmex, Telcel and América Móvil, was born in Mexico City in 1940, January 28. Among six siblings, he is the youngest of his parents Yusef Salim Haddad and Linda Helu. His father Yusef Salim Haddad emigrated from Lebanon and opened a dry goods store in Mexico. His father has always emphasized understanding finance to all his children. Carlos showed special interest in finance from his childhood but he faced hardships after his father death when he was only 13. He spent subsequent 13 years focusing on business and grew his fortune to $40 million. He completed his engineering from the Universidad National Autonoma de Mexico. After few years, he started his business venture Inversora Bursáti, a stoke brokerage. In 1982, when Mexico was in economic crisis, he took over Mexican Affiliates of General Tire, Reynolds and Sanborn’s chain stores and cafeterias and his fortune accelerated with the recovery of country. After some times, he bought some US based brands Hershey’s chocolate, Denny’s coffee shops and Firestone tires and merged them into a large firm named Seguros Inbursa.in 1990, he took over the Teléfonos de México with his American and French partners. Gradually he started promoting handsets with prepaid service which became tremendously successful. In recent years, his company América Móvil is called to be the Latin America’s largest wireless service provider. By 2007, his companies estimated value reached $150 billion.
Besides being the owner of ISP, the Largest Internet Service Provider in Mexico and Prodigy of United States, he is also the owner of over 200 retail stores and computer retailer CompUSA across the Puerto Rico and USA.
According to Forbes 2012, he is the world’s richest businessman whose net worth is $69 billion.
He, alone with American billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad, has contributed $65 million in research project of genomic medicine. From 1986, Carso Foundation has been improving Mexico’s human capital by promoting training programs and education. The Museo Soumaya, Museum that preserves the collection of European and Mexican Art, was named after Slim’s passed wife. In 2007, foundation has spent $4 billion to eliminate poverty and improve education system throughout the Latin America. The Telmex Foundation has become the largest philanthropic organization in Latin America. It provides university scholarships to several hundreds of poor but talented students besides promoting health, conservation and contributing disaster relief funds. He has also donated large chunk of money to the Centro Histórico, that supports developmental works of Mexico City’s downtown.
Awards and recognition:
He has been honored with Entrepreneurial Merit Medal of Honor by Maxico’s Chamber of Commerce.
In 2003, Latin Trade Magazine chose his CEO of the year.
He is also a Commander in the Belgian Order of Leopold II and “gold patron” of the American Academy of Achievement
“When you live for others’ opinions, you are dead. I don’t want to live thinking about how I’ll be remembered.”
“I think one of the big errors people are making right now is thinking that old-style businesses will be obsolete, when actually they will be an important part of this new civilization. Some retail groups are introducing e-commerce and think that the “bricks” are no longer useful. But they will continue to be important.”
“The key is the Internet. The United States is by far the most advanced country in this new digital culture, so we have to be there. The Internet is the heart of this new civilization, and telecommunications are the nervous system, or circulatory system.
“I’ve always said that the better off you are, the more responsibility you have for helping others. Just as I think it’s important to run companies well, with a close eye to the bottom line, I think you have to use your entrepreneurial experience to make corporate philanthropy effective.”