Lorenzo Zambrano

27 Mar 1944
12 May 2014
Business Man
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Lorenzo Hormisdas Zambrano Treviño (27 March 1944 – 12 May 2014) was a Mexican businessman and philanthropist. He took over Cemex, a regional cement company founded by his grandfather, and transformed it into one of the largest cement producers in the world by the time of his death.Zambrano also financed several cultural initiatives across Latin America and chaired, from 1997 to 2012, the board of trustees of the Monterrey Institute of Technology (ITESM), one of the largest private universities in the region. He also co-owned Axtel, an important Mexican telecommunications company.

In 1968 he joined Cemex, and for 17 years he held various executive positions, including plant manager of Torreón and Monterrey, and director of operations.

On 30 May 1985 he was named CEO. Since 1995 Zambrano has also served as chairman of the board. In his role as CEO, he designed and implemented the strategy that allowed Cemex to grow from a local operation in northern Mexico to one of the leading global building-materials company. Through more that 16 mergers and acquisitions, Cemex conquered local, regional and global markets.

On 15 September 1999, Zambrano led a ceremony in the NYSE to begin the listing of the Cemex stock (CX).

He was a member of the board of directors of IBM, and has also served in the international advisory board of Citigroup International, the Advisory Council of Allianz Companies and the boards of directors of Alfa, Banamex, Femsa, Empresas ICA, Televisa and Vitro.

From 1997 to 2012, he served as chairman of the board of the Monterrey Institute of Technology (ITESM), one of Latin America’s largest private universities. Additionally, he also served on the board of the Monterrey Museum of Modern Art (MARCO).

On 28 November 2011 he announced via Twitter that he would not seek re-election as chairman of the board of the Monterrey Institute of Technology (ITESM) citing personal reasons.

On 12 May 2014, during a business trip to Madrid, Spain, Zambrano had scheduled a corporate meeting at 7 pm local time. After failing to show up, he was tracked down by members of his staff and found dead inside his third-floor suite at Hotel Villa Magna.

His sudden death due to a cardiac arrest at the relatively young age of 70 took news outlets and business associates by surprise.Cemex issued a carefully worded press release reassuring clients and investors that business operations would continue normally and that its board of directors —composed mostly by people with no relation to his family— would elect a successor in the following days.

Back in his country, the president of Mexico, members of the cabinet, businesspeople and cultural promoters expressed their condolences through the media and social networks.


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