Mexican telecoms billionaire Carlos Slim, one of the world’s richest people, is planning to retire sometime in the next six years, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Tuesday.
Slim, the 79-year-old magnate behind America Movil, one of the world’s largest mobile network operators, ranked number five on Forbes magazine’s list of the world’s richest people in 2019, with an estimated family fortune of $64 billion.
“He wants to retire, and he wants to do it in the next six years,” Lopez Obrador told a press conference, citing what he said was a recent conversation with the tycoon.
Lopez Obrador, a 65-year-old leftist who took office on December 1 for a term that also lasts six years, said the two had a shared perspective.
“He’s willing to help not just in terms of business but also in promoting the well-being of our people,” he said.
Slim’s son-in-law Arturo Elias Ayub, an America Movil executive, confirmed the magnate had spoken with Lopez Obrador. But he did not explicitly confirm that Slim planned to retire.
“Mr Slim mentioned to the president that they both have six years of intense work ahead of them, the president because of his electoral mandate and (Slim) because of his age,” he wrote on Twitter.
Lopez Obrador has had a rocky relationship with the business sector, including Slim.
The billionaire was a top investor in a new $13-billion Mexico City airport project that Lopez Obrador controversially cancelled.
But Slim, whose business interests include construction, real estate, mining and a stake in The New York Times, has also sought to cultivate a good relationship with Lopez Obrador.
Earlier this month, he attended a ceremony to mark the president’s first 100 days in office and told reporters he was confident in Lopez Obrador’s handling of the economy.