Carlos Slim Helú

World's richest person

Tina S
Tina S
Mar 12, 2010
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Carlos Slim Helú, simply known as Carlos Slim (born January 28, 1940), is a Mexican engineer, businessman and philanthropist largely focused on the telecommunications industry. He is currently the wealthiest person in the world with a net worth of around US$53.5 billion through his holdings.

According to just published Forbes list of billionaires for 2010, net worth of Carlos Slim Helú is $53.5 Billion US, which half a billion more than Bill Gates’ worth who ranked second with the sum of $53 Billion US.

Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim, who has knocked Bill Gates from the top of the Forbes list of the world's billionaires, is famed for his  lack of ostentation and aggressive investments during crises.

Slim, 70, took the top spot for the first time in the list published on Wednesday, pushing the Microsoft founder out as he rose from third place on the success of America Movil, Latin America's biggest mobile phone operator. He controls Teléfonos de México (Telmex), Telcel and América Móvil companies. Though he maintains an active involvement in his companies, his three sons — Carlos, Marco Antonio and Patrick Slim Domit — head them on a day-to-day basis.

About Carlos Slim:

Slim was born in Mexico City, Mexico. His father, Julián Slim Haddad (Arabic جوليان سليم حداد), arrived in Mexico in 1902 from Lebanon, alone at 14 years of age and speaking no Spanish; he was escaping from the Ottoman Empire, which at the time conscripted young men into its army - mothers therefore sent their sons to exile before turning fifteen.

At the end of the 19th century, 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 Star of the Orient) and purchased real estate in downtown Mexico City.

Slim studied engineering at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. By the time he was 26 years old, his net worth was $40 million.

Later he built up the telephone monopoly Telmex after acquiring it from the government in 1990. Today, 90 percent of the telephone lines in Mexico are operated by Telmex. The softly-spoken billionaire last month received authorization to merge three of his telecommunications companies to form a regional giant, with 250 million customers in 18 countries.

The mobile company, Telcel, which Slim also controls, operates almost eighty percent of all the country's cellphones. These operations have financed Slim's expansion abroad. Over the past five years, his wireless carrier América Móvil has bought cellphone companies across Latin America, and is now the region's dominant company, with more than 100 million subscribers.

His business empire is ever-present across Mexico, including department stores, building companies and the Inbursa financial group.

Amid the financial crisis of 2008, he continued his trademark behavior of buying up struggling businesses, for which he first became famous during the Latin American economic crisis of the early 1980s. "Instead of stopping investing, he invests more when a crisis comes and the results have always been good," Ayub said.

Additionally, Slim has recently 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.

The richest man in the world lives in a house of just six bedrooms which may be elegant by do not compete to the houses of even those who stand much lower on the billionaire list. Carlos made his money at an age as early as when he was fifteen years old when he bought shares in a bank in Banco Nacional de Mexico, the largest bank in Mexico at the time.


The Mexican magnate's rising fortune has caused a controversy because it has been amassed in a developing country where per capita income does not surpass $14,500 a year, and nearly 17% of the population lives in poverty. Critics claim that Slim is a monopolist, pointing to Telmex’s control of 90% of the Mexican landline telephone market. Slim's wealth is the equivalent of roughly 2% of Mexico's annual economic output. Telmex, which is 49.1% owned by Slim and his family, charges among the highest usage fees in the world, according to theOrganisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
According to Professor Celso Garrido, an economist at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Slim's domination of his country's conglomerates chokes off growth of smaller companies, resulting in a shortage of good jobs and driving many Mexicans to seek better lives north of the Rio Grande.


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, a Commander in the Belgian Order of Leopold II, CEO of the year in 2003 by Latin Trade magazine, and one year later CEO of the decade by the same magazine.

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