Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Telmex and América Móvil
Carlos Slim Helú studied Civil Engineering at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (known by its Spanish acronym UNAM) School of Engineering, where he also taught Algebra and Linear Programming while studying for his degree, meaning that he was both a student and professor.
In 1965, when he was only 25 years old, he began to build the foundations of Grupo Carso. Inmobiliaria Carso was incorporated in January 1966, three months before marrying Soumaya Domit Gemayel, hence the name Carso, which is a combination of the first three letters of Carlos and the first two letters of Soumaya.
Since the 1980s he has been a noted businessman in various industrial, real estate and commercial fields. In 1982, which was a critical time in the history of Mexico with the debt crisis, nationalization of the banking system and the country’s finances nearly paralyzed, Carlos Slim and his Grupo Carso decided to invest heavily and actively. They made diverse investments and acquisitions during this period, one of which was Cigatam, which turned out to be the first and most important because of its cash flow, providing the Group with sufficient liquidity to capitalize on available opportunities and thereby increase itsacquisitions of big companies, including: Hulera el Centenario, Bimex, Hoteles Calinda (today, OSTAR Grupo Hotelero) and Reynolds Aluminio. Some time later the purchase of Seguros de México was closed, and Grupo Financiero Inbursa was formed by integrating Casa de Bolsa Inversora Bursátil, Seguros de México and Fianzas La Guardiana. By 1985, Grupo Carso acquired control of Artes Gráficas Unidas, Fábricas de Papel Loreto y Peña Pobre, and also a majority stake in Sanborns and its affiliate Dennys. In 1986 Minera FRISCO and Empresas Nacobre were acquired, as well as their affiliates, and control of the Euzkadi tire company, the market leader at the time, was also acquired, as was a majority stake in General Tire some years later. In 1990, the group acquired TELMEX in partnership with SBC and France Telecom, and began a new era of entrepreneurial development in a globally strategic sector. Over the course of 21 years, TELMEX has developed a world-class technological platform that has optimized its processes and strengthened the corporate culture. Over this period of time TELMEX has invested the equivalent of US$27.692 billion in Mexico’s telecommunications infrastructure and, combined with operations in Latin America, more than US$33 million.
He has left most of the boards of his companies, and currently serves as: Chairman of the Board of Directors of Impulsora del Desarrollo y el Empleo en América Latina, S.A. de C.V. (IDEAL); Chairman of Fundación Telmex, A.C.; Chairman of Fundación Carlos Slim Helú, A.C.; Chairman of the Executive Committee of Consejo Consultivo de Restauración del Centro Histórico; and Chairman of Fundación del Centro Histórico, A.C.
Mr. Slim continues to be active in business although his main effort and work is focused on education, health and employment in Mexico and Latin America, through the foundations he chairs and companies in infrastructure arena; his three sons, Carlos, Marco Antonio and Patrick Slim Domit, have taken over the reins of his businesses.
Mr. Slim has lectured at public and private institutions as well as at international organizations such as the Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLA). He was a member of the Board of Directors of Altria (previously Philip Morris Companies), and also a Board Member for SBC Communications, Inc., from which he retired in 2004 to devote more of his time to the IDEAL project, Impulsora para el Desarrollo y el Empleo en América Latina, with a particular emphasis on infrastructure, health and education. He has also served as Vice Chairman of the Mexican Stock Exchange and Chairman of the Mexican Association of Brokerage Firms. He was the first Chairman of the Latin American Committee of the Board of Directors of the New York Stock Exchange.
Mr. Slim Helú and his wife Soumaya Domit de Slim (deceased) have six children: Carlos, Marco Antonio, Patrick, Soumaya, Vanessa and Johanna.