José María Álvarez-Pallete


Speeding Up Innovation


José María Álvarez-PalleteJosé María Álvarez-Pallete, Chairman and CEO, Telefónica Latin América, closed Accenture’s Global Convergence Forum 2011 by assuring the audience that the "Latin American moment is now" before outlining the many ways the world is rapidly changing:

"A huge transformation is coming, and the rules for a new game have not been written. Nothing will be the same in the next months. These changes we’re seeing now are not just a fashion; they’ll impact the business models of everyone in this room. We all need to take change into account in our planning so we can take advantage of this huge, potential opportunity."

Elaborating on trends, Pallete noted that IP traffic increased 90 percent in a single year and that 90 percent of that growth came from video. "Smartphones are changing our lives," he said. Predicting the next wave of innovation, he suggested that machine-to-machine communication is on the horizon: "Cars, gas meters, water meters, electricity, fridges—everything will be connected as we move from the Internet of people to the Internet of things. By 2035, we will be able to buy a device with human-like capacity for as little as a dollar."

In fact, Pallete contended that "the new Silicon Valley is in Latin America," illustrating the point with a mention of Telefónica’s Wayra, an initiative that gives 100,000 followers (via streaming media) an open space in which they can develop ideas in "their own ecosystem." ("Wayra" means "wind" in Quechua. Wayra is a Telefónica program that identifies promising ideas in information technology and communications and encourages their development by providing funding, tools and technology.)

An emerging middle class in Latin America is making the region attractive to investors, while local industries are eyeing American customers. In the coming decades, Pallete expects two billion new customers, 90 percent from the emerging countries and 80 percent from mobile.

"With a presence in 16 countries and strong brand recognition, Telefonica has the organization, skills, technology, and products we need to be a leader in the new digital world," he concluded.




José María Álvarez-Pallete José María Álvarez-Pallete
Chairman and CEO,
Telefónica Latin América


José María Álvarez-Pallete is chairman and CEO of Telefónica Latin América. Appointed to this position in 2006, he is also a member of the board of Telefónica, S.A.

Prior to his current position, Mr. Álvarez-Pallete was named chairman and CEO of Telefónica Internacional in 2002. He joined Telefónica in 1999 as CFO of Telefónica Internacional. From 1995 to 1999, Mr. Álvarez-Pallete worked for Valenciana de Cementos Portland (CEMEX) in several positions, including head of the Investor Relations and Studies department, financial manager for CEMEX in Spain and general manager for Administration and Financial Affairs for CEMEX Group's interests in Indonesia, headquartered in Jakarta. He began his career at Arthur Young Auditors in 1987 and joined Benito & Monjardin/Kidder, Peabody & Co. in 1988, where he held positions in the research and corporate finance departments.



José María Álvarez-Pallete: Speeding Up Innovation



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José María Álvarez-Pallete 
José María Álvarez-Pallete
José María Álvarez-Pallete
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