Luis J. Echarte knows how to manage international companies and build global brands.

He’s convinced that the only constant in our world is change, especially in business. That’s why he thinks that to be successful, you have to accept this and know how to quickly adapt to new circumstances. You have to be able to continually re-invent yourself.

Born in Havana, Cuba, he was forced to leave his country and emigrate with his family to Miami at 15, months after Castro took power. The abrupt change of leaving behind a comfortable life in his birthplace and go to a country with a different culture and other customs taught him a huge lesson: to move forward, you have to leave behind your comfort zone and risk chasing your dreams.

He worked in his family’s real estate and construction businesses from a very young age. This meant that his first steps as an entrepreneur was doing successful business as a contractor.

Years later, he took the opportunity to refocus his career, accepting the challenge to rescue one of the world’s most prestigious firms, Bacardi, from the morass it was floundering in.

As general director, he made the corporation’s wine division successful, later becoming vice-president and director of operations, president, and CEO of Bacardi Imports.

Luis Echarte substantially increased company sales through an aggressive product diversification and global growth strategy.

He is currently director of financial strategy and investor relations of Grupo Salinas, one of Mexico’s biggest corporations, with operations in the communications media, specialized retail, financial services, telecommunications, and internet. In addition, he has also been CEO of Grupo Elektra and Azteca, two Grupo Salinas companies.

He is also president of the board of Azteca America, the Grupo Salinas Spanish-language television network in the United States. Mr. Echarte has contributed his vision to positioning the network in the main cities in the US.

He is also the founder and president of Fundación Azteca America, the not-for-profit arm of Grupo Salinas in the US. The foundation focuses on improving quality of life in the Latino community in the US, working on issues like immigration, health, nutrition, education, and the environment.

He is also a member of the boards of Azteca, Grupo Elektra, Banco Azteca, and Casa de Bolsa Actinver, as well as the Chief Executives Organization and the World’s Presidents Organization.

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