01/28/1940Place of birth :
Mexico - MexicoCountry of residence :
MexicoLinked companies :
If Carlos Slim was born in Mexico, this country is not the birthplace of his family. In 1902, Yusef Salim Haddad his father and his brothers leave their native Lebanon. Religious believers in Maronite obedience, an oriental form of Catholicism, Salim family flees the religious tensions and settles in Mexico. His father Yusef Salim becomes Julian Slim.
Thriving storekeeper, Julian Slim learns early to his children the value of numbers, making them keep the accounts of their pocket-money. Born in 1940, his son Carlos develops passion for accounts: according to his personal legend, he bought his first share at 12 years old.
His father died in 1953. In order to pay his engineering studies, Carlos Slim taught mathematics. In 1965 he founded his first company, a stockbroker, before starting a career in real estate in 1966. He married that same year with Soumaya Domit Gemayel. He took the first letters of their first names (Carlos and Soumaya) and created the name of his holding company: Grupo Carso.
In 1982, the Mexican debt crisis dismantles the structure of the economy. Carlos Slim took advantage of the situation and bought different companies: Cigatam, manufacturers of tires, a foundry, restaurants, stationery store, hotels…In 1990, Grupo Curso participated to the privatization of Telmex, the Mexican France Telecom. Precursor in prepaid cards sector, Carlos Slim extended Telmex to all the Latin America. In 1995, he did the same thing with America Movil, his subsidiary company in mobile telecoms which counts 170 million of customers. With the bank Financerio Inbursa, these “cash machines” constitute the heart of his empire. In addition to his Mexican companies, Carlos Slim also bought drop quotes as Saks (textile distribution), MCI (telecoms bought back by Verizon) or Altria (tobacco).
In recent years, Carlos Slim has given the governance of his companies to his son. He concentrates his efforts on foundations for child in Latin America.
According to Forbes, Carlos Slim was in March 2010 the richest man in the world with a fortune estimated at $ 53.5 billion. He is ranked before Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.
In 2007, Carlos Slim pledged to make available to destitute Mexicans one million of computers, almost 51 million euros in order to give them access to new technologies.
"I think one of the big errors people are making right now is thinking that old-style businesses will be obsolete, when actually they will be an important part of this new civilization. Some retail groups are introducing e-commerce and think that the "bricks" are no longer useful. But they will continue to be important."
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