Fernando Espuelas, a well-known magnate, has always been engaged in business. He climbed his way up the ladder, whether it was in school and college committees or at work, after demonstrating his entrepreneurial talents at the age of eleven. With his original ideas and efforts, this well-known businessman is credited with propelling the well-known marketing and advertising firm ‘Ogilvy & Mather’ and its associate ‘Unilever’ to the pinnacle of success. He poured all of his savings into ‘Starmedia,’ one of the most prominent online sites in the Spanish-Portuguese market, by the age of thirty, alongside friend Jack Chen. This well-known businessman has long emphasized the significance of using media and technology to foster interpersonal relationships. He’s also a gifted public speaker who has hosted ‘The Fernando Espuelas Show’ on the radio for many years. The show is about current events and politics, and it has interviews with people like President Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and US Senator John McCain, among others. Media moguls such as ‘Time Magazine,’ ‘CNN,’ ‘The Hollywood Reporter,’ and ‘Red Herring Magazine’ have honored this well-known businessman. The ‘World Economic Forum’ has also named him the ‘Global Leader of Tomorrow.’
Childhood and Adolescence
Fernando Espuelas was born in Uruguay on August 6, 1966, to a real estate businessman and his wife. When the youngster was just eight years old, his father abandoned the household. The little child had his primary education at the ‘Elbio Fernández School’ in Montevideo, Uruguay’s capital. He went to the United States with his mother when he was ten years old, with only $100 in his pocket.
Before being hired as a housekeeper by a rich family in Greenwich, Connecticut, the mother worked twelve hours a day at several factories. Fernando began his education at ‘North Street School,’ where he founded his first business, a children’s bank and insurance company, in fifth grade.
The following year, he established a student government at the school, which was the first of its type, and was elected President. In addition, the entrepreneurial young lad founded and served as the chief editor of a school newspaper.
This young guy graduated from ‘Greenwich High School’ in 1984, where he participated in a variety of extracurricular activities, including directing the ‘Debate Team’ and the ‘Political Action Club.’
He also hosted a local cable television show called ‘The Bottom Line with Fernando Espuelas,’ in which he interviewed prominent locals. To help support his family, this gifted young guy worked odd jobs such as food delivery, babysitting, and greeting card sales. He also received his training at the ‘Philip Morris’ company’s headquarters in New York.
Espuelas enrolled in a history course at ‘Connecticut College,’ where he was a regular contributor to the institute’s publication, ‘The College Voice.’ He became a member of the ‘Board of Trustees of Connecticut College’ after working for several college councils, and he graduated in 1988.
Career of Fernando Espuelas
In 1988, Espuelas began working as an assistant executive for ‘Wunderman Worldwide,’ a division of the renowned advertising firm ‘Young & Rubicam,’ on clients like as ‘American Express,’ ‘General Foods Gevalia,’ and ‘Weight Watchers.’
He left ‘Wunderman’ after a year and went to work as an account executive for the ‘Interpublic Group of Companies,’ a New York-based ad agency, where he worked on the ‘Citibank Visa’ account.
In 1991, Fernando relocated to South America and was hired as the Managing Director of ‘Ogilvy & Mather Direct,’ an Argentine marketing and advertising firm. Working on a single account at first, the young executive helped ‘Ogilvy & Mather’ earn a lot of money in Argentina.
This enterprising young guy was appointed as the head of the ‘Unilever’ account, which belonged to ‘Ogilvy & Mather’, in the same year. He designed portfolios for huge cosmetic brands like ‘Ponds’ and ‘Dove’ while working for ‘Unilever.’ By the end of the year, Espuelas had been elected to the company’s Board of Directors.
In 1994, the ambitious young man was chosen by the American telecommunications MNC ‘AT&T’ to promote their brand throughout Latin America. The following year, he was promoted to Managing Director of Marketing Communications at ‘AT&T,’ where he was responsible for operations in Latin America and the Caribbean.
This tenacious entrepreneur at ‘AT&T’ created internet services for the corporation that proved highly famous. The first search engine that provided results in both Spanish and Portuguese, as well as news, games, and interactive portals, was the Spanish ‘Hola’ and Portuguese ‘Ola.’
Fernando and entrepreneur Jack Chen came up with the idea for ‘Starmedia,’ an Internet platform for people who speak Spanish and Portuguese, in 1996. Investors refused to fund the project because it was too inventive. However, the company was able to get $2.5 million in investment the next year.
In 1999, ‘Starmedia’ became the first Latin American Internet company to go public on the NASDAQ stock exchange in the United States. By 2001, the internet company’s capital had risen to more than $500 million, thanks to investments from industry titans such as GE Capital, Hearst Corporation, eBay, NBC, and Intel Capital. Espuelas left the company the same year and was replaced by a representative from ‘Chase Manhattan Bank.’
In 2002, ‘Starmedia’ was sold for $8 million to ‘Eresmas,’ a Spanish Internet service provider. ‘Life in Action,’ a young entrepreneur’s autobiography, was published in 2004. Espuelas went on to start VOY, a digital media company focused on the interests of Latin American youth. In 2005, the company created a documentary called ‘Favela Rising,’ which was well received by critics.
VOY faced losses and had to lay off staff two years later, in 2007, but managed to stay in business.
The passionate businessman created a radio discussion show called ‘The Fernando Espuelas Show’ in 2008. Fernando served as the managing editor and host of the show, which broadcast on ‘Univision Radio Los Angeles.’
The talk show focuses on current political and social problems and features conversations with a number of well-known politicians and social activists. President Barack Obama, U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, and Bishop William Henry Willimon of the Methodist Church of Alabama are among the notable figures who have appeared on the radio show.
Major Projects of Fernando Espuelas
Fernando Espuelas is best recognized for his most recent business initiative, the ‘Starmedia’ Internet platform. It grew to be a $3.8 billion corporation with eighteen locations across America and Europe and more than 1200 employees. The success of the famed Uruguayan entrepreneur’Starmedia’, his first business endeavor, has prompted internet behemoths such as ‘AOL,’ ‘Microsoft Corp.,’ and ‘Yahoo,’ to set up shop in Latin America.
Achievements and Awards
In 2000, the ‘World Economic Forum’ named Espuelas a ‘Global Leader of Tomorrow.’ In the same year, he received the ‘Bravo Awards’ for ‘Internet CEO of the Year’ from ‘Latin Trade Magazine.’ He was named to the ‘Leaders of the Millennium’ list compiled by the media companies ‘Time’ and ‘CNN.’ ‘Crain’s New York Business Magazine’ dubbed him the ‘2000-All Star business leader.’ In the same year, he was awarded the ‘Hispanic Entrepreneur Award’ by the ‘Hispanic Business Magazine.’
‘VOY’ won the ‘Best Start-up Company’ award at the 2006 ‘Multicultural Media Expo.’ The next year, the ‘Forrester’ market research firm ranked it the top Latin social networking company in the United States. In 2007, he was awarded the ‘Henry Crown Fellowship,’ an Aspen Institute project honoring young “community-spirited leaders.”
In 2008, the newspaper ‘Immigration Daily’ dubbed this prominent businessman the “Immigrant of the Day.”
In the next two years, the ‘U.S. Hispanic IT Executive Council’ (‘HITEC’) named him one of the “Most Influential Hispanics and Rising Stars in Information Technology.” This entrepreneur was named one of “The Nation’s 100 Most Influential Hispanics” by ‘PODER’ magazine in 2012 for his radio talk show.
Personal History and Legacy
Ann Clark Espuelas, a cookbook writer and editor, is the prominent business leader’s wife.
‘El Pais,’ one of Uruguay’s leading newspapers, has dubbed him “The Emperor of the Internet.” The entrepreneur has also been dubbed “the Hispanic Bill Gates” and “the Internet’s Simón Bolvar.”
Estimated Net Worth
Fernando Espuelas is one of the wealthiest and most well-known entrepreneurs in the world. Fernando Espuelas net worth is estimated to be at $17 million, according to Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.