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Carlos Gutierrez

Former U.S. Secretary of Commerce and Former CEO of Kellogg
  • Youngest CEO in Kellogg’s 100-year history
  • Named one of the most powerful Hispanic-Americans in business by Fortune magazine
  • Shares the top traits all dynamic and innovative leaders have in common—including a desire to embrace risk
Topics & Types
Diversity & InclusionEconomic OutlookFinance Policy & RegulationInternational BusinessPoliticsTurnaroundBusiness Leaders From Major BrandsCEOsMedia

Carlos Gutierrez is the former CEO of Kellogg Company, a former secretary of commerce, and the former vice chairman of Citigroup’s Institutional Clients Group. The son of Cuban immigrants who began his career selling cereal to small grocers in Mexico City, he rose to become the youngest CEO in Kellogg’s 100-year history. He first learned English from bellhops, but commerce has always been a language in which Gutierrez was fluent. Named one of the most powerful Hispanic-Americans in business by Fortune magazine, he was an ardent voice for business in the government. Exclusively represented by Leading Authorities speakers bureau, he addresses global business, immigration reform, how politics and policy affect business, and our current political environment.

Spanning The Globe, One Cereal Box At A Time. Gutierrez joined Kellogg in 1975, spending nearly 30 years with the company. He rose through the ranks, and his climb included years as executive vice president of Kelloggs’ Asia-Pacific. Faced with a global stagnation in cereal sales as CEO, he turned the company around by focusing on his “Volume to Value” strategy, allocating resources to higher-margin products. Having spent half his career in international markets, he also leveraged his Asia expertise to extend Kellogg’s reach and profitability. Fortune magazine dubbed Gutierrez “The Man Who Fixed Kellogg,” and attributed his success to “taking the slick salesmanship, financial discipline, and marketing savvy that he learned in his youth and blending it with disarming charisma, steely resolve, and an utter lack of pretension that you wouldn’t expect in one so nattily dressed. He even makes golf shirts look debonair.”

The Voice Of Business In Government. As secretary of commerce, Gutierrez was a core member of President Bush’s economic team. Of Gutierrez, President Bush said, “He understands the world of business, from the first rung on the ladder to the very top. He knows exactly what it takes to help American businesses grow and to create jobs.” During his tenure, Gutierrez made it a top priority to open global markets for U.S. companies, and he played a key role in the passage of CAFTA-DR, a landmark trade agreement that expanded opportunities for U.S. exports throughout Latin America.

Financial Know-How. With his vast corporate success and extensive international perspective, Gutierrez has a unique viewpoint on global business and the economy. After his time as Secretary of Commerce, he joined Citigroup as the vice chairman of the Institutional Clients Group and a member of its Senior Strategic Advisory Group. He was also an advisor to Gov. Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, a member of the Debt Reduction Task Force at the Bipartisan Policy Center, and the founder and chairman of Global Political Strategies (GPS), a strategic consulting service.

Cuban Advocacy. Guttierez currently serves as the first-ever elected chair of the US-Cuba Business Council, an affiliate of the US Chamber of Commerce. Born in Havana, he has been a vocal supporter of open, de-regulated relations between the US and Cuba and served as co-chair for the Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba. He has also worked extensively on immigration issues, leaving Citigroup to lead the creation of the SuperPAC Republicans for Immigration Reform.

He is currently co-chair of the Albright Stonebridge Group and sits on the board of Time Warner Inc.

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