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Trujillo embraces his inner amigo

Leads Latino exec movement

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Australia's favourite Ex-Telstra CEO, Sol Trujillo, may have left the country with an extra $30m in his pocket after a four-year stint taunting the government and shareholders, but that didn’t stop him from branding the experience as marred by racist "amigo-heavy" slurs.

These days, it seems Sol is focusing on his Hispanic heritage, re-emerging as the chairman of Garcia Trujillo Holdings, a management consulting, merchant bank and VC firm focusing on the development of global Latino business interests.

"In four years the Hispanic market, if it were a nation in and of itself, would be one of the 10 largest economies in the world," Trujillo says.

Seizing on US census stats that predict that the Hispanic population will hit 50 million next year – with an estimated combined purchasing power of US$1.5 trillion by 2015 – the group will specialise in helping companies seize the emerging market's potential.

Trujillo, who has also picked up board posts with Target and the WPP Group, has amassed a cabal of like-minded, high-powered Hispanic executives to join the board of directors.

These include Charles P Garcia (CEO) also a director of retailer Winn-Dixie Stores and Gary Trujillo (MD) who sits on the board of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona and Well Fargo Bank Desert Region, he is also known for running Quepasa.com, the first bilingual internet portal focused on the US Hispanic market. Back in the dotcom days he was better known for ousting the founder of Quepasa.com Jeffrey Peterson, from the company just 60 days after being hired as CEO.

Garcia Trujillo also pledges to donate 10 per cent of its profits annually back into the Hispanic community. The group, based in Miami, also wants to redress the fact that only 3 per cent of board seats on Fortune 500 companies have Hispanic directors.

"Our vision is to live in a country where Latinos are admired as patriotic and industrious American citizens, and where the Hispanic community is respected as the lifeblood of America’s future," Trujillo states.

It is a far cry from his description in 2009 of his last post, of which he said: "I would say that Australia definitely is different from the US. In many ways it was like stepping back in time. My point is that racism does exist and it's got to change because the world is full of a lot of people and most economies have to take advantage – including Australia – of a diverse set of people." ®

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