As the U.S. Hispanic economy continues its expansion and evolution in the 21st century, two industries will play pivotal roles in its development: information technology and financial services. Both represent catalysts for future progress as the market wrestles with overcoming a "digital divide" of lagging technology adoption and the chronic lack of access to capital for business development.
This year's Corporate Elite directory reflects the growing importance of those sectors and the growing number of influential Hispanics at their forefront. In our ninth annual list, eight members of the Corporate Elite are in the information technology industry – the most of any sector. Elite members in the IT sector include one CEO, one CFO, and one COO. Information technology also figures prominently on the resumes of several Elite members in other industries.
Two members of the Corporate Elite work for companies in the finance industry, and the directory also includes two CFOs who have ultimate financial responsibility for corporations in other industries. The highest-profile financial executive on the list is George Reyes, who as CFO helped stage Google's $1.67 billion initial public offering last August.
The strong growth of Hispanics in Corporate America also is reflected in the consumer goods sector, which boasts the second-highest number of members on the list (five), followed by food service (three). Microsoft and McDonald's have the most senior executives on the list – three from McDonald's, including Ralph Alvarez, who was recently promoted to president of the company's U.S. division, and two from Microsoft, including Orlando Ayala, the subject of this issue's cover story.
The list also reflects several other trends, including occupational gains by Hispanic women. With their growing number in the corporate upper echelons, women account for 10 of this year's Corporate Elite, or 40 percent of the directory. The directory also attests to the progress made at the highest-tiers of Fortune 500 companies, including two CEOs, two CFOs, and three COOs.
Such achievements are among hundreds across the country last year as Hispanics continued their gains in Corporate America. The 2005 Hispanic Business Corporate Elite directory seeks to focus at the top of the corporate pyramid, containing biographies of 25 executives who represent those with "C"-level authority or senior or executive vice-president status that exert unusual influence at their respective companies. The list does not include members of boards of directors unless the member also has a high executive position within the corporation.
The Corporate Elite directory was compiled by Chief Economist Juan Solana, Research Supervisor Michael Caplinger, Senior Research Assistant Cynthia Marquez, and Business Economist J. Tabin Cosio.
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