Ricardo Salinas Pliego

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Ricardo Salinas Pliego
Ricardo Salinas Pliego 2020-1.jpg
Ricardo Salinas Pliego at Los Angeles
Born (1955-10-19) 19 October 1955 (age 65)
Mexico City
EducationTecnológico de Monterrey
Tulane University (MBA)[1]
Known forFounder of Grupo Salinas
Net worthIncrease US$13.6 Billion (February 2021)[1]
TitleChairman & CEO of Grupo Salinas
Spouse(s)Ninfa Sada Garza
María Laura Medina
ChildrenNinfa, Benjamín, Hugo, Ricardo, Cristóbal and Mariano[1]
Parent(s)Hugo Salinas Price
Esther Pliego

Ricardo Benjamín Salinas Pliego (born 19 October 1955)[2] is a Mexican billionaire businessman, founder and chairman of Grupo Salinas,[3] a group of companies with interests in telecommunications, media, financial services, and retail stores.[4]

He is the third richest person in Mexico and the 172th richest person in the world with an estimated net worth of US$13.6 billion in February 2021.[1]


Ricardo Salinas Pliego is a CPA graduate of the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM). After earning an MBA at Tulane University, he joined Elektra in 1981 as import manager. He learned the business moves when the company was in dire financial straits at the continuing devaluation of the eighties. Between 1981 and 1986, Salinas experimented with other businesses such as a restaurant in Monterrey, satellite dishes and the sale of systems multi communication.[5]

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 Salinas' great-grandfather, Benjamin Salinas. In 1950, 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.[6]

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. Thus was born Banco Azteca, which currently has operations in Mexico, Panama, Guatemala and Honduras. Subsequently, Grupo Elektra obtained two financial licenses from the federal government to create Seguros Azteca and Afore Azteca.[3]

Salinas is also chairman of TV Azteca, one of the world's two largest producers of Spanish-language television programming. Under his leadership, TV Azteca broke Mexico's long-standing television monopoly through the successful privatization of a media package offered by the government.[3]

In 2001, TV Azteca launched Azteca America, a wholly owned Spanish-language broadcasting network aimed at the 50 million-strong Hispanic population of the United States. Azteca America had affiliates in 70 markets, including Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, Miami and Houston, reaching 89 percent of the Hispanic population in the U.S. Azteca America was sold to HC2 Holdings in 2017.[7]

In 2003, Salinas bought Iusacell (the first cell phone company in Mexico) and four years later, merged it with Unefon, another cell phone company, founded by him in 1999. However, in early 2015, Grupo Salinas announced the sale of Iusacell to AT&T[8] Today, with Totalplay, offers the most innovative internet and television services and telephony via fiber optics to home. Also, Totalplay Empresarial provides broadband internet access video surveillance, broadband interfaces, videoconferencing, among other services to institutions and companies throughout Mexico.[9]

In 2012, Grupo Elektra acquired Advance America, —currently Purpose Financial[10]—, a company that provides short-term non- bank loans in the United States. Also put into operation Punto Casa de Bolsa. The Group operates more than six thousand points of contact in Mexico, United States, Guatemala, Honduras, Peru and Panama.[3]

Salinas has participated and addressed The World Economic Forum, The Economist Roundtable on Mexico, the Young Presidents' Organization, UCLA, the Institute of the Americas, Harvard Business School and TED, where he discussed issues related to globalization, education, entrepreneurship, freedom and opportunity in the BOP. He also has a blog where he publishes his business, political, economic and cultural ideas. His articles have been published in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Hill, Newsweek in Spanish, La Opinión, and regularly writes in the Mexican press. Mr. Salinas was the first Mexican to elect the Board of Trustees of the Aspen Institute.[11]


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.

He also created Caminos de la Libertad, Kybernus, Arte & Cultura Grupo Salinas[12] in addition to sponsoring Ciudad de las Ideas.


Salinas 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[13]).

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.[14] 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.[15] This was settled in September 2006 with Salinas required to pay $7.5M while not admitting guilt. As part of the settlement, Salinas was forbidden for five years to serve as officer or director of any United States publicly listed company.[16] Esteban Moctezuma (ex-Secretary of Interior of PRI President Ernesto Zedillo), was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Fundación Azteca in 2002 by Salinas Pliego. His daughter, Ninfa, entered to the PVEM party (linked to the PRI party, some old but now of recent political endeavor) in 2009.

Soccer game and presidential debate[edit]

Salinas decided to air the 2011–12 quarter final game between Tigres and Monarcas Morelia, two soccer teams from the Liga MX, 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.[17]

He posted on Twitter the following message on 30 April 2012:

If you want to see the debate, watch it on Televisa; if not, watch the game on TV Azteca. I'll give you the ratings the following day.[18]

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.[19]

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.[20] 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.[20] 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)."[21] Nonetheless, the majority of the messages posted on Twitter criticized Salinas Pliego for this incident.[22]

Anonymous group and Grupo Salinas

Following the decision of Salinas, the internet group Anonymous "attacked" the official website of Grupo Salinas on 1 May 2012, posting on Twitter that they wanted the presidential debate and not the football game.[23] The official webpage—www.gruposalinas.com—was not available for some time.[24]

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.[25] On his defense, Salinas said on 4 May 2012 that the "majority of the population is not interested in the presidential debate."[26] He claimed that only 15% of the population is interested in the debate, while 54% of them claim they are not interested at all.[26] If the statistics were different, he said, then he would have adjusted his strategy.[26] Salinas then said that his business "understands well" the preferences of the population and takes decisions accordingly.[26]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Ricardo Salinas Pliego & family". Forbes. Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  2. ^ Grupo Salinas (2021). "Ricardo B. Salinas Pliego Biography" (PDF). Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. ^ a b c d Grupo Salinas (2019). "Our President". Retrieved 3 February 2021.
  4. ^ Grupo Salinas (2019). "What is GS?". Retrieved 3 February 2021.
  5. ^ Ricardo Salinas. "Profile Ricardo Benjamín Salinas Pliego". Retrieved 3 February 2021.
  6. ^ Grupo Salinas (2019). "Our history". Retrieved 3 February 2021.
  7. ^ TV Azteca (29 November 2017). "TV Azteca announces the sale of Azteca America to HC2 Network Inc". Retrieved 3 February 2021.
  8. ^ Grupo Salinas (2015). "Sale of Grupo Iusacell to AT&T for US$2,500 million is completed". Grupo Salinas. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  9. ^ Totalplay Empresarial. "Totalplay Empresarial (Spanish)". Retrieved 3 February 2021.
  10. ^ a b Purpose Financial. "Purpose Financial". Retrieved 3 February 2021.
  11. ^ The Aspen Institute (16 April 2014). "Six Leaders Elected to Aspen Institute Board of Trustees". Aspen Institute. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
  12. ^ Grupo Salinas (2019). "Social Value". Retrieved 3 February 2021.
  13. ^ Roberto González (29 April 2005). "Salinas Pliego, culpable de violar la Ley del Mercado de Valores: CNBV (Spanish)". La Jornada. Retrieved 3 February 2021.
  14. ^ "SEC accuses Mexican firm of fraud". 5 January 2005. Retrieved 10 September 2016 – via bbc.co.uk.
  15. ^ "Press Release: SEC Charges TV Azteca And Its Chairman - Ricardo Salinas Pliego - with Fraudulent Scheme to Conceal Salinas' $109 Million Windfall Through Related Party Transactions; 2005-1; January 4, 2005". Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  16. ^ "TV Azteca, S.A. de C.V., et al.: Lit. Rel. No. 19833 / September 14, 2006". Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  17. ^ "Salinas Pliego prioriza futbol sobre debate presidencial". Terra Networks (in Spanish). 30 April 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
  18. ^ "Si quieren debate, véanlo por Televisa: Salinas Pliego". El Informador (in Spanish). 30 April 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
  19. ^ "Si quieren debate, véanlo por Televisa: Salinas Pliego". El Universal (in Spanish). 1 May 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
  20. ^ a b "IFE pide a la TV no 'empalmar' juego de fut con debate". El Universal (in Spanish). 30 April 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
  21. ^ "Se transmite fútbol y no debate presidencial: Salinas". El Universal (in Spanish). 30 April 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
  22. ^ "Salinas Pliego ofrece: si no quieren debate, vean el futbol". ADN Politico (in Spanish). 30 April 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
  23. ^ "Anonymous ataca web de Grupo Salinas". El Universal (in Spanish). 1 May 2012. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
  24. ^ "Anonymous ataca web de Grupo Salinas". El Informador (in Spanish). 1 May 2012. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
  25. ^ "Confirma TV Azteca que trasmitirá debate por Canal 40". Milenio (in Spanish). 3 May 2012. Archived from the original on 28 December 2012. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
  26. ^ a b c d "A la mayoría de la población no le interesa el debate: Salinas Pliego". CNNMéxico (in Spanish). 4 May 2012. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  27. ^ Grupo Elektra. "Purpose Financial". Retrieved 2 February 2021.
  28. ^ Grupo Salinas (2019). "Punto Casa de Bolsa". Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  29. ^ Punto Casa de Bolsa. "Punto Casa de Bolsa". Retrieved 2 February 2021.
  30. ^ Grupo Salinas (2019). "Afore Azteca". Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  31. ^ Grupo Salinas (2019). "Tiendas Neto". Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  32. ^ Tiendas Neto (2017). "Tiendas Neto". Retrieved 2 February 2021.
  33. ^ Grupo Salinas (2019). "Upax". Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  34. ^ Upax (2019). "Upax". Retrieved 2 February 2021.
  35. ^ Grupo Salinas (2019). "Agencia i". Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  36. ^ Agencia i (2020). "Agencia i". Retrieved 2 February 2021.
  37. ^ Grupo Salinas (2019). "Promo Espacio". Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  38. ^ Promo Espacio. "Promo Espacio". Retrieved 2 February 2021.
  39. ^ Grupo Salinas (2019). "Grupo Dragón". Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  40. ^ Grupo Dragón. "Grupo Dragón". Retrieved 2 February 2021.
  41. ^ Grupo Salinas (2019). "Totalsec". Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  42. ^ Totalsec (2020). "Totalsec". Retrieved 2 February 2021.
  43. ^ Grupo Salinas (2019). "Kybernus". Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  44. ^ Kybernus. "Kybernus". Retrieved 2 February 2021.
  45. ^ Grupo Salinas (2019). "Caminos de la Libertad". Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  46. ^ Caminos de la Libertad. "Caminos de la Libertad". Retrieved 2 February 2021.
  47. ^ Grupo Salinas (2019). "Arte y Cultura Grupo Salinas". Retrieved 15 February 2021.

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