The president of Telefónica, José María Álvarez-Pallete, received the Business Leader of the Year award in New York on Tuesday, granted by the Spain-United States Chamber of Commerce, at a ceremony in which he advocated addressing without delay "the transition to the new digital economy.
At the gala, held at the Plaza Hotel in Central Park, about 300 representatives from the economic and business world attended, such as the president of BBVA, Carlos Torres; the CEO of Atento, Carlos López-Abadía; the president of Eulen, María José Álvarez, and the CEO of Zoetis, Juan Ramon Alaix.
There were also the Spanish consul, Rafael Conde de Saro, and the president of the Chamber of Commerce of Spain, José Luis Bonet.
The Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce has recognized Álvarez-Pallete "for his ability to face the challenges arising from constant technological evolution and lead the digital transformation of the company, which has gone from being a telecommunications firm to becoming a technological group. "
Álvarez-Pallete receives this award just when Telefónica has just launched an action plan to transform the company, which seeks to prioritize investments in its strategic markets (Spain, Brazil, Germany and the United Kingdom), and create a new unit for the rest of its market in Latin America.
In addition, Telefónica has created a new digital unit, which aims to generate more than 2,000 million euros (2,216 million dollars) in additional revenue in 2022, directed by José Cerdán and that will agglutinate the digital businesses of the operator with high potential for growth and which aims to be the partner that accompanies other companies in their digital transformation.
The president of the board of directors of the Chamber and former US ambassador to Spain, Alan Solomont, said at the gala that, under the management of Álvarez-Pallete, "Telefónica has achieved strategic agreements of great value and has demonstrated business excellence , innovation and commitment to the customer necessary to transform a telecommunications giant into an era of continuous technological and digital changes. "
For his part, the president of Telefónica thanked the Chamber of Commerce of Spain-USA for the recognition and congratulated the Chamber, which this year marks the 60th anniversary of its creation, for "the important work that this institution has been doing during these years to foster economic and business ties between both countries. "
In his speech, Álvarez-Pallete has explained how the digital revolution is changing society: "Never in the history of mankind has there been such an accumulation of technology."
In this regard, he has stressed the challenges that all this implies and has warned that "it is now time to manage the transition to the new digital economy, to put citizens and their rights at the center of this new world and ensure that nobody is left behind. "
Álvarez-Pallete has also highlighted the "incredible" transformation carried out by Spain in the last 40 years in terms of social advances, infrastructure deployment and economic growth, which has allowed the country to "multiply gross domestic product by 15 since 1978".
The award, presented by the president of the Chamber of Commerce of Spain-United States, Alan Solomont, distinguishes business leaders who have made a significant contribution to the economic growth of Spain or the United States and to the improvement of business relations between the two countries
Early in the morning, José María Álvarez-Pallete held the opening of the stock exchange session of the New York Stock Exchange through the well-known "Opening Bell".
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