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  • Pliego Salinas Ricardo

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Ricardo Salinas Pliego (1955)

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Ricardo Benjamín Salinas Pliego is a Mexican businessman and one of Forbes World's Richest People since 2000. He serves as President and CEO of Grupo Salinas and Grupo Elektra, two holdings with interests vested in telecommunications, media and retail stores, among those TV Azteca, Elektra, Iusacell, Unefon, and Banco Azteca.

  Biography  

Ricardo B. Salinas was one of Latin America’s leading corporate figures and entrepreneurs. As chairman and founder of Grupo Salinas, which includes several the largest companies in Mexico, Mr. Salinas has spearheaded the promotion of free trade, government deregulation, and foreign investment.

Grupo Salinas began as a family-owned furniture manufacturing company called Salinas & Rocha founded in 1906 by Mr. Salinas’ great-grandfather, Benjamin Salinas. In 1950, Mr. Salinas’ grandfather created Grupo Elektra, and when Ricardo Salinas became CEO of the company in 1987, Elektra averted financial distress following the devaluation of the peso. Mr. Salinas refocused Elektra on basic products: appliances, electronics, and furniture. Significantly, he developed at Elektra a vast new consumer market among Mexico’s lower middle income consumers by providing credit sales and diverse financial products and services.

Grupo Elektra expanded further and became Mexico’s biggest consumer-finance company when, in 2002, it won the first banking license granted to any Mexican institution in nearly a decade. The strategy was to build new markets by creating new buying power among classes of people largely ignored by most other major Mexican businesses.

Mr. Salinas is also chairman of TV Azteca, one of the world’s two largest producers of Spanish-language television programming. It is one of only two nationwide broadcasters in Mexico, and is now the most profitable integrated broadcaster in the world. Under his leadership, has broken Mexico’s long-standing television monopoly through the successful privatization of networks Azteca 13 and Azteca 7.

In 2001, TV Azteca launched Azteca America, a wholly owned Spanish-language broadcasting network aimed at the 40 million-strong Hispanic population of the United States. Azteca America has affiliates in 62 markets, including Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Miami, and Houston, reaching 89 percent of the Hispanic population in the U.S.

Unefon is another Grupo Salinas company, a telecommunications company that built its client base to 1.4 million subscribers and generated EBITDA of more than U.S. $110 million after just three years in operation. Unefon covers 19 cities with its own network and reaches an additional 23,000 urban areas through a capacity exchange and roaming agreement with –a company that Mr. Salinas purchased from Verizon and Vodafone in 2003, when these global wireless providers agreed to tender 75% of Grupo Iusacell’s stock to Movil@ccess. Telecosmo, was created by Mr. Salinas in 2000, becoming Mexico’s first wireless broadband ISP.

Mr. Salinas formed the nonprofit Fundación Azteca in 1997 to address a broad range of social problems with ongoing campaigns in healthcare and nutrition, education, and the protection of the environment. It is a foundation that finances and supports other foundations, thus leveraging its impact exponentially. Fundación Azteca has raised millions of dollars, benefiting hundreds of thousands of lives. Today Fundación Azteca is one of the highest-recognized non-profits in Latin America. In 2005, Mr. Salinas launched Fundación Azteca America, which is committed to improving the well-being of the Hispanic community in the United States by functioning as a nationwide bridge between donors and Hispanic foundations.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Ricardo Salinas Pliego", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.