Leopoldo Fernández Pujals
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Born into a well-to-do Cuban family, his mother of Catalan origin was an architect and his father, of Asturian origin, was a notary. One year after the Cuban Revolution, when Leopoldo was 13 years old, his family went into exile in Miami . In 1968 he entered the Marines, at the officer school of Fort Belvoir, in the state of Virginia, where he was number one in his class, later becoming an instructor. He fought in the Vietnam War, from which he returned to the United States with a medal and captain's stripes.
He studied finance and went to work at the multinational Procter & Gamble, to later move to Johnson & Johnson, whose hand he came to Spain in 1981. Six years later, he decided to take a radical turn in his life. He opened a pizzeria in Monforte de Lemos street in El Barrio del Pilar in Madrid2 where he himself kneaded the pasta and gave it to the children of the neighborhood to try it until he found the secret of his dough. In the mornings, Leopoldo went to work at Johnson & Johnson in a suit and tie; in the afternoon, he put on his apron and made pizzas until two in the morning, including weekends. He then set up, as a test, Pizzaphone, which later became Telepizza. In 1993 it already had 100 stores in Spain, which grew to 150 a year later and to 204 the next.
In 1996, he was alone at the head of the company after a pulse with his brother for the direction of the same. Telepizza entered the Spanish Stock Exchange and began a dizzying career. In May 1997, it acquired Pizza World for 1,900 million pesetas, then a transport company and then its cheese supplier. By mid-1998 it had achieved a market share of 62 percent. The business continued to grow and diversify both in Spain and abroad, until in 1999 it sold all its shares, an operation for which it received some 300 million euros. On the other hand, in 1995 he created the Centurión stud farm, the largest stud farm of purebred Spanish horses in San Pedro de las Dueñas, (Lastras del Pozo), (Segovia) .3
In September 2004, it was launched into the world of telecommunications, by acquiring 24.9 percent of Jazztel, a broadband operator created in 1997 by Argentine Martin Varsavsky. Fernández Pujals contributed 61.8 million euros to relaunch the company. In 2009, the founder of Telepizza returns to its origins and participates in the creation of a chain of pizzerias, La Original, together with two of its former directors in Telepizza, Pedro Español and Miguel Ángel Rodríguez.
- "Apunta a las estrellas y llegarás a la luna : convierte tus sueños en éxitos (Fuera de colección) (Spanisch)".
- "Leopoldo Fernández Pujals". cuatro (in Spanish). Retrieved 2019-05-25.
- "Inspire America, Inspiring Democracy in Cuba". Inspire America. Retrieved 2019-05-29.
- "Yo, Pujals, centurión en Vietnam". ELMUNDO (in Spanish). 2014-11-09. Retrieved 2019-05-29.
- "Dateline: Madrid: The Cuban who conquered Spain". The Independent. 1999-03-17. Retrieved 2019-05-29.