is a Mexican businessman largely focused on the telecommunications industry. He is considered as the second richest man in the world with a net worth of around U.S. $60 billion through his holdings.
Carlos Slim has a substantial influence over the telecommunications industry in Mexico and much of Latin America as well. He controls Teléfonos de Mexico (Telmex), Telcel and America Movil companies. Though he maintains an active involvement in his companies, his three sons Carlos Slim Domit, Marco Antonio Slim Domit and Patrick Slim Domit head them.
Helu’s father Julian Slim, a Maronite , moved to Mexico City from Lebanon at the age of 14. Julian established a dry goods store called La Estrella del Oriente (Star of the Orient) in 1911 and purchased real estate in downtown Mexico City. He and his wife had six children, of whom Carlos was the youngest boy.
Slim is the surname of Carlos’ father Julian, who was called Youssef Salim before moving to Mexico, where he changed his first name to Julian and altered his surname to Slim. He officially became Julian Slim Haddad by adding Haddad, his mother’s surname, according to the Spanish-language naming customs. In Western, non-Iberian naming conventions, Carlos Slim Helu’s name would be Carlos Slim. Like his family, Carlos Slim Helu is a Maronite .
Slim studied engineering at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, he married Soumaya Domit in 1967 they had six children and were married for 32 years until she died from a kidney ailment in 1999.
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 (Previously Philip Morris) Group (resigned in April, 2006) and Alcatel. 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. He is also the Majority Shareholder of CompUSA. In 1997, just before the company introduced its famous iMac line, Slim bought 3% of Apple Computer’s stock, which has skyrocketed over the years.
He built an important Mexican financial-industrial empire, Grupo Carso, which owns, among other companies, the now bankrupt CompUSA electronic 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 Telefonos de Mexico, America Movil, and Grupo Financiero Inbursa.
On March 5, 2008, Forbes magazine ranked Slim as the world’s second-richest person, behind Warren Buffett and ahead of former world’s richest man Bill Gates. During some parts of 2007, several major financial publications had ranked Slim as the richest person on Earth.
On August 8, 2007, Fortune magazine reported that Slim had overtaken Bill Gates as the world’s richest man. Slim’s estimated fortune soared to US$68 billion, based on the value of his public holdings at the end of July. Microsoft founder Bill Gates’ net worth was estimated to be at least US$58 billion.
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.
Slim has been awarded the Entrepreneurial Merit Medal of Honor from Mexico’s Chamber of Commerce. He is a “gold patron” of the American Academy of Achievement, and the Belgian government awarded him the Leopold II Commander Meda, CEO of the year in 2003 by Latin Trade business magazine and one year later CEO of the decade by the same magazine.
In the year 2000, he organized the Fundacion del Centro Historico de la Ciudad de México A.C. (Mexico City Historic Downtown Foundation), whose objective is to revitalize and rescue Mexico City’s historic downtown to enable more people to live, work and find entertainment in this area. He has been Chairman of the Executive Committee for the Restoration of the Historic Center since the year 2001. Additionally, as part of his philanthropic work, he heads the Latin America Development Fund project, and his foundations have more than 10 billion dollars budget for the next years.