Carlos Slim Helú (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈkarlos eˈslim eˈlu], simply known as Carlos Slim (born January 28, 1940), is a Mexican monopolist, philanthropist and the chairman and CEO of Telmex, Telcel and América Móvil. As of April 2010, he is the wealthiest person in the world with a net worth of around US$53.5 billion. His sons Carlos, Marco Antonio and Patrick Slim Domit run the day-to-day operations of Telmex, Telcel, and América Móvil.
Slim was born in Mexico City, Mexico. His father, Julián Slim Haddad (Arabic جوليان سليم حداد), immigrated to Mexico in 1902 from Lebanon, alone at 14 years of age and speaking no Spanish. He fled the Ottoman Empire, which at the time conscripted young men into its army, causing mothers to send their sons to exile before turning fifteen. Carlos Slim’s mother, Linda Helú, was born in Parral, Chihuahua. She was the daughter of José Helú and Wadiha Atta (Arabic وضيحة عطا), Lebanese immigrants who arrived in Mexico at the end of the 19th century. They brought the first Arabic printing press to Mexico, and founded one of the first magazines for the Lebanese community in the country. In 1911, Julián established a dry goods store called La Estrella del Oriente (The Eastern Star) and purchased real estate in downtown Mexico City. In August 1926, Julián Slim and Linda Helú married in Mexico City. They had six children, of whom Carlos was the youngest son. Julian died in 1952.
Slim studied engineering at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. By the time he was 26 years old, his net worth was $40 million. He married Soumaya Domit Gemayel (Arabic سمية جميل), also a Lebanese-Mexican, in 1967. They had six children and were married for 32 years until Domit died of a kidney ailment in 1999. The youngest of their three daughters, Johanna, is married to Arturo Elías Ayub, a board member of some of Slim’s companies.
On August 4, 2007, The Wall Street Journal ran a cover story profiling Slim. The article said, “While the market value of his stake in publicly traded companies could decline at any time, at the moment he is probably wealthier than Bill Gates”. On March 29, 2007, Slim surpassed Warren Buffett as the world’s second richest person with an estimated net worth of US$53.1 billion compared to Buffett’s US$52.4 billion. According to The Wall Street Journal, Slim credits part of his ability to discover investment opportunities early to the writings of his friend, futurist author Alvin Toffler.
On August 8, 2007, Fortune reported that Slim had overtaken Gates as the world’s richest man. Slim’s estimated fortune soared to US$59 billion, based on the value of his public holdings the end of July. Gates’ net worth was estimated to be at least US$58 billion.
On March 5, 2008, Forbes ranked Slim as the world’s second-richest person, behind Warren Buffett and ahead of Bill Gates. On March 11, 2009, Forbes ranked Slim as the world’s third-richest person, behind Gates and Buffett and ahead of Lawrence Ellison.
On March 10, 2010, Forbes once again reported that Slim had overtaken Gates as the world’s richest man, with a net worth of US$53.5 billion. Gates and Buffett now have a net worth of US$53 billion and US$47 billion respectively. He was the first Mexican to top the list. It was the first time in 16 years that the person on top of the list was not from the United States. It was also the first time the person at the top of the list was from an “emerging economy.”
Achievements and directorships
Slim has been vice-president of the Mexican Stock Exchange and president of the Mexican Association of Brokerage Houses. He was the first president of the Latin-American Committee of the New York Stock Exchange Administration Council, and was in office from 1996 through 1998.
He was on the Board of Directors of the Altria Group (previously Philip Morris; he resigned in April 2006) and Alcatel. Slim currently sits on the Board of Directors for Philip Morris International. He was on the Board of Directors of SBC Communications until July 2004 to devote more time to the World Education & Development Fund, which focused on infrastructure, health and education projects. In 1997, just before the company introduced its iMac line, Slim bought three percent of Apple Computer’s stock, which has skyrocketed over the years.
He built the large Mexican financial-industrial conglomerate Grupo Carso which controls, among other companies, Sanborns (a prestigious food chain in Mexico), Mixup (music retail), Sears Mexico, Cigatam, Condumex and Grupo Hotelero Hostam and had indirect control over the CompUSA electronics retail chain.
On December 8, 2007, Grupo Carso announced that the remaining 103 CompUSA stores would be either liquidated or sold, bringing an end to the struggling company. After 28 years he became the Honorary Lifetime Chairman of the business. He is also Chairman of Teléfonos de Mexico, América Móvil, and Grupo Financiero Inbursa.
Slim is said to have shown an interest in buying the Honda Formula One team. Slim would overtake the owner of Force India, Vijay Mallya, to become the richest team owner in a sport famous for being a playground for the super wealthy. Slim made it known in the Mexican press that he will soon announce his intentions to acquire a Major League Soccer franchise to be located in Queens, New York that will initially be set up in the second-tier United Soccer Leagues.[citati
Carlos Slim becomes world’s richest person in 2010
Telecom tycoon who pounced on privatization of Mexico’s national telephone company in the 1990s becomes world’s richest person for first time after coming in third place last year. Net worth up $18.5 billion in a year.
Net Worth: $53.5 bil
Telecom tycoon who pounced on privatization of Mexico’s national telephone company in the 1990s becomes world’s richest person for first time after coming in third place last year. Net worth up $18.5 billion in a year. Recently received regulatory approval to merge his fixed-line assets into American Movil, Latin America’s biggest mobile phone company. His construction conglomerate, Impulsora del Desarrollo y el Empleo, builds roads and energy infrastructure. Son of a Lebanese immigrant also owns stakes in financial group Inbursa, Bronco Drilling, Independent News & Media, Saks and New York Times Co. Newspaper outfit’s stock popped in early March on talk he might buy a controlling stake; he denies the rumor. Donating $65 million to fund a research project in genomic medicine with American billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad.
World’s Richest Person Given Honorary Welcome in Lebanon
Lebanese-Mexican telecom tycoon Carlos Slim has been given an honorary welcome at his hometown Jezzine in southern Lebanon, nearly five decades since his last visit to the area.
President Michel Suleiman has honored Slim who was recently named as the world’s richest person, giving him a medal.