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Carlos Slim Domit

A man often referred to as the 'son of the richest man in the world' is quietly emerging from his father's shadow.

Carlos Slim Domit is often referred to as the son of the world’s richest man, Carlos Slim Helu, the Mexican entrepreneur who built one of the world’s largest telecommunications firms. In reality, however, Carlos Slim Jr. has quietly become a force to contend with in his own right, carving out a key role for himself within his family’s empire and fashioning himself into a remarkably innovative leader. At the helm of the family’s Telmex and America Móvil companies, Carlos sees the future of Latin America inextricably tied to telecommunications.

With the family patriarch currently devoting most of his time to philanthropic pursuits, the next generation has moved to take the reins of the family’s diverse holdings. Foremost among them is Slim Sr.’s eldest son Carlos Slim Domit, who serves as chairman of Grupo Carso, the telecommunications giant Telmex and, with his brother Patrick, co-chairs America Móvil, the largest wireless operator in Latin America. The two telecommunications companies represent the bulk of the family’s wealth.

Growing into the future

Several basic tenets are central to the philosophy forged by Carlos Slim Helu: a simple organizational structure, austerity in good times, quick decision-making and smart reinvestment. His sons know this philosophy well, having paid their dues in the family business before being entrusted with top positions. After receiving a business administration degree from the Universidad Anahuac in Mexico, Carlos Slim Jr. began working at a very young age. Right out of college, his first job was at Sanborns, one of the family’s companies.

Like his father, Carlos is strongly influenced by a firm belief in corporate social responsibility. In an interview with Latin Trade, he said: “This is part of the philosophy advanced by my father– we are temporarily administering wealth and we must do so efficiently and achieve a social impact.” The Slim companies directly employ some 260,000 people and perhaps as many as four times that number indirectly depend on the family’s companies for their livelihoods.

Carlos is also a tireless advocate of telecommunications as a lever of economic growth and development. Speaking to the U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce in 2012, Carlos stressed that, “innovations in Mexico and Latin American telecommunications… fundamentally [are] chang[ing] the economic landscape and opens up worldwide opportunities for citizens.”

At the 2012 G20 summit in Mexico, Slim Domit chaired the ICT task force, which formulated recommendations for the expansion of broadband service and the role of telecommunications in education, health, financial inclusion, innovation and development.

América Móvil, the family’s flagship holding, is the fourth largest terrestrial mobile phone network operator in the world, counting some 250 million subscribers in 18 countries in June 2012. With such ambitious goals in Latin America, Carlos will play a central role in defining the future direction of telecommunications technology across the continent. Over the coming years, Carlos will be tasked with migrating his networks to next generation infrastructure and expanding his companies’ business ventures outside of Latin America.

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