Ricardo Salinas Pliego
|Ricardo Salinas Pliego|
Ricardo B. Salinas Pliego
|Born||Ricardo Benjamín Salinas Pliego
19 October 1955
Monterrey, Nuevo León
|Education||Tecnológico de Monterrey
Tulane University (MBA)
|Occupation||chairman/founder, Grupo Salinas|
|Net worth|| US$17.4 billion (est.)
(Forbes, March 2012)
|Spouse(s)||Married, 6 children|
|Parents||Hugo Salinas Price
Esther Pliego de Salinas
Ricardo Benjamín Salinas Pliego (born on 19 October 1955 in Monterrey) 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.
He is the fourth richest person in Mexico behind Carlos Slim and the 34th richest person in the world with a wealth of around US $17.4 billion in 2012.
In 1987 Ricardo succeeded his father Hugo Salinas Price as CEO of Grupo Elektra. The company began as a family-owned furniture manufacturing company called Salinas & Rocha founded in 1906 by Mr. Salinas’ great-grandfather, Benjamin Salinas. In 1952 Hugo Salinas Rocha created Grupo Elektra and when Ricardo Salinas became CEO of the company in 1987 he 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, TV Azteca 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 Grupo Iusacell–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. Fundación Azteca has raised millions of dollars, benefiting hundreds of thousands of lives. 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.
Ricardo Salinas is one of Latin America’s leading corporate figures and entrepreneurs, although he has been involved in a series of political and financial scandals (which include investigations by the American Securities and Exchange Commission and the Mexican Comisión Nacional Bancaria y de Valores). Mr. Salinas was charged by the American Securities and Exchange Commission in January 2005 with being engaged in an elaborate scheme to conceal Salinas’s role in a series of transactions through which he personally profited by $109 million.  The SEC complaint also alleged that Salinas and Padilla sold millions of dollars of TV Azteca stock while Salinas’s self-dealing remained undisclosed to the market place. This was settled in September 2006 with Mr. Salinas required to pay $7.5M while not admitting guilt. As part of the settlement, Salinas Pliego was forbidden for five years to serve as officer or director of any United States publicly listed company.
He is also accused of taking over with violence the facilities of CNI Canal 40 in 2003. The latter used to be an independent TV channel which broadcast from the north of Mexico City. In February 2012 while representatives of the CFC ( Federal Competition Commission ) were notifying the headquarters of Iusacell their unfavorable resolution against the union between this company and Televisa, lawyers from Iusacell decided to change the physical numbers of the building in order to avoid receiving the notification. In addition, his banks have been accused of abusing microlending practices in Mexico. This is a practice that was intended to help low-income people become entrepreneurs, but is often abused by charging poor people unreasonable interest rates.
Football game and presidential debate
Salinas Pliego decided to air the 2011–12 quarter final game between Tigres de la UANL and Monarcas Morelia, two professional football teams from the Mexican Primera División, during the same time as the presidential debate of the 2012 Mexican general elections. The day of these two events were set for 6 May 2012.
He posted on Twitter the following message on 30 April 2012:
Emilio Azcárraga Jean, the CEO of Televisa, posted a message on Twitter to "clarify the doubts" by stating that it was not Televisa who was planning to air the game between Tigres and Morelia, but rather TV Azteca, the closest television competitor to his company.
The Federal Electoral Institute (IFE) and its president, Leonardo Valdés Zurita, asked for TV Azteca to not air the game at the same time as the presidential debate. According to Zurita, the IFE has already set up the permissions and invitations to carry out the debate, but also recognized that other media companies can air programs they consider relevant. In addition, the electoral councils in Mexico recognized that this incident will leave the Mexican people with two difficult dilemmas: "watch football or the presidential debate between Josefina Vázquez Mota (PAN), Enrique Peña Nieto (PRI), Andrés Manuel López Obrador (PRD) and Gabriel Quadri de la Torre (PANAL)." Nonetheless, the majority of the messages posted on Twitter criticized Salinas Pliego for this incident.
- Anonymous group and Grupo Salinas
Following the decision of Salinas Pliego, the internet group Anonymous "attacked" the official web page of Grupo Salinas on 1 May 2012, posting on Twitter that they wanted the presidential debate and not the football game. The official webpage—www.gruposalinas.com—was not available for some time.
- TV Azteca accepts to air debate
On 3 May 2012, the IFE acknowledged that TV Azteca decided to air the presidential debate on XHTVM-TV, commonly referred to as Proyecto 40. On his defense, Salinas Pliego said on 4 May 2012 that the "majority of the population is not interested in the presidential debate." He claimed that only 15% of the population is interested in the debate, while 54% of them claim they are not interested at all. If the statistics were different, he said, then he would have adjusted his strategy. Salinas Pliego then said that his business "understands well" the preferences of the population and takes decisions accordingly.
The origins of Grupo Salinas are set in 1906, when Mr. Salinas’ great grandfather, Benjamín Salinas, created Salinas & Rocha, a modest family-owned furniture manufacturing company. In 1950, Mr. Salinas’ grandfather, Hugo Salinas Rocha, created Grupo Elektra, and when Ricardo Salinas became CEO of the company in 1987, Elektra had fewer than 60 stores and averted financial distress following the devaluation of the peso. Mr. Salinas refocused Elektra on basic products: appliances, electronics, and furniture. Significantly, he developed a vast new consumer market among Mexico’s lower-middle income consumers by providing credit sales (guided by careful risk-management practices) and diverse financial products and services, including money transfers via an alliance with Western Union. In just a few years, through organic expansion and acquisitions, Mr. Salinas built Grupo Elektra into Latin America’s largest specialty retailer.
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. In 2003, Grupo Elektra was granted a license to operate a pension-management business branded as Afore Azteca which set new low commission standards, and increasing the range of services for clients overlooked by financial services firms in Mexico. Similarly, Grupo Elektra launched Seguros Azteca, an insurance company designed to bring basic insurance products to the vastly underinsured mass market.
Mr. Salinas is also chairman of TV Azteca, the second largest producers of Spanish-language television programming in the world. It is one of only two nationwide broadcasters in Mexico.
TV Azteca was founded in 1993 when an investor group led by Mr. Salinas bought from the Mexican government two national television licenses coupled with television studios full of decrepit broadcasting equipment. Under his leadership, TV Azteca has broken Mexico’s long-standing television monopoly through the successful privatization of the Azteca 13 and Azteca 7 networks. Thereafter, a duopoly has been established: TV Azteca and Televisa remain the only nationwide TV broadcasters in Mexico, a country of 107 million.
Most recently, Mr. Salinas created the Empresario Azteca program and its parallel, Empresario Azteca Association (ASMAZ), as a broad program to support small businesses the core of Mexico’s economy. This initiative applies the breadth and depth of Grupo Salinas’ management expertise, financing capabilities, market strength, purchasing power, and its extensive distribution network to provide training, consulting, financing, equipment procurement, and other resources to small businesses throughout the country.
Mr. Salinas also 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. 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.
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 90 percent of the Hispanic population in the U.S.
In July 2003, Movil@ccess, also a Grupo Salinas telecommunications operator, completed a successful tender offer to purchase 75% of Grupo Iusacell, which was facing bankruptcy. Since then, Iusacell’s financial performance, quality of service, and technology platforms have improved noticeably.
On November 18, 2008 it was announced that the Mexican Ricardo Salinas Pliego, current owner of the Mexican broadcaster TV Azteca, purchased 28 percent of the bankrupted American retailer Circuit City.
Ultimately Salinas Pliego lost $41 million on his 28 percent Circuit City stake after his attempts to restructure debt with store suppliers failed and he consequently abandoned plans to buy the company.
- "Ricardo Salinas Pliego" (in Spanish). Revista Líderes Mexicanos. 7 July 2009. Retrieved 8 September 2014. "Nació el 19 de octubre de 1955 en Monterrey, N.L."
- "Ricardo Salinas Pliego & family - Forbes". Forbes. March 9, 2011. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
- Salinas Pliego, culpable de violar la Ley del Mercado de Valores: CNBV
- SEC accuses Mexican firm of fraud
- Reinicia transmisiones Canal 40; es un "acto ilegal", asegura abogado de CNI
- La Jornada Virtu@l
- (Spanish) "Salinas Pliego prioriza futbol sobre debate presidencial". Terra Networks. 30 April 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
- (Spanish) "Si quieren debate, véanlo por Televisa: Salinas Pliego". El Informador. 30 April 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
- (Spanish) "Si quieren debate, véanlo por Televisa: Salinas Pliego". El Universal. 1 May 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
- (Spanish) "IFE pide a la TV no 'empalmar' juego de fut con debate". El Universal. 30 April 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
- (Spanish) "Se transmite fútbol y no debate presidencial: Salinas". El Universal. 30 April 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
- (Spanish) "Salinas Pliego ofrece: si no quieren debate, vean el futbol". ADN Politico. 30 April 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
- (Spanish) "Anonymous ataca web de Grupo Salinas". El Universal. 1 May 2012. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
- (Spanish) "Anonymous ataca web de Grupo Salinas". El Informador. 1 May 2012. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
- (Spanish) "Confirma TV Azteca que trasmitirá debate por Canal 40". Milenio. 3 May 2012. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
- (Spanish) "A la mayoría de la población no le interesa el debate: Salinas Pliego". CNNMéxico. 4 May 2012. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
- Nadie Vende Mas Barato
- Strategy for Generating Shareholder Value
- Azteca America's Corporate Site
- Reuters: Mexican tycoon Salinas sets eyes on Circuit City
- "Mexican Mogul Speaks About Circuit City Losses". The New York Times. February 4, 2009.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ricardo Salinas Pliego.|
- Ricardo Salinas' Official website
- Forbes:Salinas Pliego & Family
- Revista Poder: Ricardo Salinas Pliego (in Spanish)