Gustavo Cisneros

Gustavo Alfredo Jiménez de Cisneros Rendiles (born 1 June 1945)[4][5]:19 is a Venezuelan businessman and Chairman of Grupo Cisneros.[6][7]

Gustavo Cisneros
Gustavo Cisneros
Gustavo Alfredo Cisneros Rendiles

(1945-06-01) 1 June 1945
Caracas, Venezuela
Dominican Republic
Alma materBabson College
OccupationMedia mogul
SpousePatricia Phelps
Children3, including Adriana Cisneros

Early life and education

Cisneros is the son of Diego Cisneros and Albertina Cisneros (née Rendíles Martínez).[8]

Cisneros's father, Diego Cisneros, was in business in Caracas from 1929 and received the Pepsi concession for Venezuela in 1940, before going on to gain the concession for private TV channel Venevisión in 1961. The Cisneros family was the first-wealthiest in South America on the 2006 Forbes ranking.[9][10]

Cisneros graduated from Suffield Academy in Connecticut in 1963.[11] He graduated from Babson College in Massachusetts in 1968.[12]

Grupo Cisneros

Grupo Cisneros is one of the largest privately held media entertainment organizations in the world.[13] The company has been headquartered in Coral Gables, Florida, since 2000.[14]

Cisneros became President of Grupo Cisneros when he was 25 years old.[7]

Cisneros’ wealth comes from his holdings in media, entertainment, telecommunications and consumer products companies.[15] Grupo Cisneros is one of the largest privately held Spanish-language media and entertainment companies.[16] Until the buyout of Univision, the United States’ leading Spanish-language television network, Cisneros was one of the biggest shareholders of the Company. He also owns Venevision International, which produces and distributes media and entertainment products throughout the world, and Venevisión, a Venezuelan television network. Since 1980 the Group has owned the Miss Venezuela contest and since 2001 also the Leones del Caracas baseball team.

Long an advocate of free enterprise[4][5]:259 Cisneros has for many years been expanding his operations outside of Venezuela and into overseas markets, including the U.S., Spain and more recently China.[15][17]

One of his major accomplishments has been a major role in the international development of telenovelas emotion-packed melodramas based on the harsh realities of life in Latin America that are now broadcast to about 2 billion people around the world.

In August 2013, Gustavo Cisneros appointed his daughter Adriana Cisneros de Griffin as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Cisneros.[18][19]

Cisneros has been developing Tropicalia, a multibillion-dollar resort in Miches, 80 kilometres (50 mi) northwest of Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.[20] Its opening is scheduled for 2021.[21]

He has been listed among the world's richest men according to Forbes magazine, which estimated his fortune at US$1.1 billion in 2019.[22] His wealth has decreased from its 2014 peak of US$4.4 billion.[22]


Although Cisneros and Hugo Chávez were originally friends and Cisneros contributed to Chávez's first presidential campaigns, Cisernos has been accused of involvement in the 2002 Venezuelan coup d'état attempt against Chávez after their relationship became strained because of Chávez's confrontation of the media.[23]

Cisneros has been questioned about his relationship with Chávez.[24]


Cisneros supports two philanthropic entities: Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros and Fundación Cisneros.

Fundación Cisneros runs a wide range of educational and cultural programs aimed at improving the lives of Latin Americans.[25] These include the AME program for professional development of Latin American educators, visual arts education and awareness based on the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros; PPV, a visual thinking curriculum for Latin American school children, and traveling art exhibits showcasing the talents of Latin American artists for North America and European audiences.[26]

Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros is a privately held Latin American art organization based in Venezuela and New York City. Patricia and Gustavo Cisneros began collecting Latin American abstraction after their marriage, in 1970. Over the years, it has grown to more than 2,000 pieces, including about 200 Spanish colonial objects. In addition, the couple have amassed a vast holding of ethnographic material from the Amazon.[27] Based in New York and Caracas, the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros today also includes works by Uruguay's Joaquín Torres-García, Brazil's Lygia Clark and Venezuelan modern masters Jesus Soto, Alejandro Otero, and Carlos Cruz-Diez. The Cisneros Foundation was moving toward building a permanent institution in Caracas in the late 1990s until Hugo Chavez was elected president. In 2007, the foundation encountered resistance from the Chavez government when lending works by Venezuelan painter Armando Reveron (1889-1954) to New York's Museum of Modern Art for the museum's first retrospective devoted to a single Latin American artist in 50 years.[28]

Personal life

Cisneros has been married to his wife, Patricia, since 1970.[27][29] She has been a significant MoMA benefactor since 1992, she has been a trustee of the museum and made substantial cash contributions to the museum's recent renovation. Her name is on one of the institution's exhibition rooms. In addition to MoMA, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Hammer Museum, Long Beach's Museum of Latin American Art, and the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid also have received art loans.[28][30] Phelps de Cisneros is an active member of the International Council and the Latin American Acquisitions Committee of Tate, London; she is an International Trustee of the Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado, Madrid; belongs to the Association Centre Pompidou América Latina; the Museum Berggruen’s International Council; and the American Friends of the Fondation Beyeler, among others.

Cisneros has lived in the Dominican Republic since the 1990s.[31][32][33][34][2][3]

In addition to Venezuelan citizenship, Cisneros also holds United States, Spanish and Dominican citizenship.[35]

Through his father, Diego Cisneros's paternal side, Cisneros is related to Pablo de Hita y Salazar, who was the 27º Governor of La Florida from 1674 to 1680.[36] As a tribute to his father, Cisneros published a book about the Cisneros family tree.[37]


  • 1979: Orden Isabel la Católica, Grado Encomienda (1 collar, 1 medallita, 1 botón) – Spain
  • 1999-01-22: Orden Nacional al Mérito, en el Grado de Oficial (3 medallas) – Ecuador
  • 1980: Caballero de la Soberana Orden de Malta, Gracia Magistral (6 medallas, 2 botones, 1 prendedor, 2 cajitas rojas vacías, 2 cajitas azules vacías) – Italy
  • 1982-11-23: Orden Mérito al Trabajo, Primera Clase (1 medalla. 1 botón) – Venezuela
  • 1983: Orden Francisco de Miranda, Primera Clase (1 medalla, 1 botón) – Venezuela
  • 1983: Orden Francisco de Miranda, Segunda Clase (1 medalla, 1 botón) – Venezuela
  • 1984-01-12: Orden Andrés Bello, Banda de Honor (1 medalla, 1 botón) – Venezuela
  • 1984-05-16: Orden Isabel la Católica, Grado Encomienda de Número (1 collar, 1 placa, 4 medallitas, 2 botones) – Spain
  • 1984-06-12: Orden del Libertador, Gran Oficial, Segunda Clase (1 medalla, 1 botón – Venezuela
  • 1990-12: Orden del Libertador, Gran Cordón (2 medallas, 1 botón) – Venezuela
  • 2004-10-30: Orden del Congreso de Colombia en el Grado de Oficial – Colombia
  • 2004-10-30: Orden de la Democracia Simón Bolívar en el Grado de Gran Cruz – Colombia
  • Orden Diego de Losada, Primera Clase (1 collar, 1 prendedor, 2 botones) – Venezuela
  • Orden al Mérito del Ministerio Público, Primera Clase (1 collar, 1 medallita, 2 botones) – Venezuela
  • Llave de la ciudad de Cartagena de Indias – Colombia
  • Cultura Campesina Colombia ACPO (1 collar) – Colombia



  • Americas Society, Chairman's International Advisory Council
  • Babson College, Board of Overseers
  • Barrick Gold Corporation, Board of Directors; Member, International Advisory Board and Compensation Committee; Chair, Corporate Governance and Nominating Committee
  • Cardinal Cisneros Foundation, Board of Trustees
  • Council for the Atlantic Institute of Government, Member
  • Global Information Infrastructure Commission (GIIC), Commissioner[46]
  • Haiti's Presidential Advisory Council on Economic Growth and Investment
  • Harvard University, David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, Advisory Committee
  • Ibero-American Council for Productivity and Competitiveness, Member[7]
  • International Center for Economic Growth, Board of Overseers
  • Rockefeller University, University Council, Member
  • RRE Ventures LLC, Senior Advisor
  • United Nations Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Task Force, Charter Member

Past affiliations

See also

  • Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros
  • List of Venezuelan Americans


  1. "Gustavo Cisneros obtiene ciudadanía". El Día (in European Spanish). 19 January 2010.
  2. Rosario Adames, Fausto (17 March 2014). "Gustavo Cisneros ha recibido la ciudadanía dominicana en tres ocasiones". Acento (in European Spanish).
  3. "El magnate venezolano Gustavo Cisneros adquiere la nacionalidad dominicana". 7 Días. 17 March 2014. Archived from the original on 7 July 2015. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
  4. Bachelet, Pablo; Fuentes, Carlos (prólogo de) (2004). Gustavo Cisneros: Un empresario global (in Spanish). Barcelona: Planeta. ISBN 978-8-408-04958-6. OCLC 55114034.
  5. Bachelet, Pablo; Fuentes, Carlos (foreword by); Grossman, Edith (translated by) (2004). Gustavo Cisneros: Pioneer. Barcelona: Planeta. ISBN 978-0-974-87248-3. OCLC 57305155.
  6. Gott, Richard (May–June 2006). "Venezuela's Murdoch". New Left Review. No. 39.
  7. Casillas, Jorge S. (16 October 2015). "La hispanidad está en la sangre del español, sea vasco, catalán o andaluz". ABC (in Spanish).
  8. Giusti, Roberto (18 December 2011). "Perfíl: Diego Cisneros a sus 100 años. Parábola de un soñador activo". El Universal (in Spanish).
  9. "Interview: Gustavo Cisneros". The Daily Telegraph. 8 November 2005.
  10. "The World's Richest People: South & Middle America". Forbes. October 2006.
  11. "Gustavo A. Cisneros '63 to Speak at Suffield Academy's 2006 Commencement". Cisneros Group of Companies. 15 May 2006. Archived from the original on 8 July 2011.
  12. "Gustavo A. Cisneros: Academy Member". Babson College, The Arthur M. Blank Center For Entrepreneurship.
  13. "NATPE 2015 Bio Reel: Gustavo & Adriana Cisneros, Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award Recipients" (Video). NATPE. 28 January 2015.
  14. Rodriguez, Rene (11 June 2017). "Q&A with Gustavo Cisneros: 'Miami has arrived'". Miami Herald.
  15. Carugati, Anna (January 2005). "Gustavo Cisneros, chairman y CEO de Cisneros Group of Companies". TV Latina (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 7 October 2007.
  16. Kirkman, Alexandra (26 November 2001). "The visionary". Forbes.
  17. Cancel, Daniel (17 June 2011). "Billionaire Cisneros to team with Chinese banks in Latin America oil, gold". Bloomberg L.P.
  18. Krischer Goodman, Cindy (27 October 2013). "Adriana Cisneros: The New Face of Cisneros Group". Miami Herald. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  19. Yearwood, John (1 February 2012). "Adriana Cisneros - Interview with The World Desk The Miami Herald". Miami Herald. Archived from the original on 2021-12-22.
  20. Acosta, Cándida; de León, Viviano (1 October 2009). "Cisneros invertirá US$2,000 millones". Listín Diario (in Spanish).
  21. "BID e IFC financian proyecto turístico Tropicalia" (in Spanish). Santo Domingo: Listín Diario. 14 December 2018. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  22. "Gustavo Cisneros & family". Forbes. March 2018.
  23. Nelson, Brian A. (2009). The Silence and the Scorpion: The Coup against Chávez and the Making of Modern Venezuela. New York: Nation Books. pp. 73, 79, 96, 159–223. ISBN 978-0-786-72744-5. OCLC 646810078.
  24. Romero, Simon (28 April 2002). "Coup? Not His Style. But Power? Oh, Yes". The New York Times.
  25. "Fundación Cisneros: Quienes Somos". Fundación Cisneros (in Spanish).
  26. Sierra Laffite, Michelle (19 February 2007). "Por Amor al Arte". Expansión (Mexico).
  27. Suzanne Muchnic (August 19, 2007), Spreading the riches Los Angeles Times.
  28. Chris Kaul (January 28, 2009), An art trove ends its nomadic phase Los Angeles Times.
  29. "Chapter 1: Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, A Passion for Latin America" (Video). Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros. 16 October 2016.
  30. Cristina Carrillo De Albornoz (March 27, 2012), Madrid's Reina Sofía signs agreement with Cisneros Foundation The Art Newspaper.
  31. Rivas, Ubi (28 February 2016). "¿Quién es Gustavo Cisneros? - El Nacional". El Nacional (in European Spanish).
  32. "Dan a conocer Centro Cardiovascular Cedimat | Hoy Digital". April 30, 2012.
  33. "Presidente se reúne con Bush padre | Hoy Digital". February 26, 2005.
  34. José Fernando López e Isaac Lee (27 August 2003). "Objetivo "militar" de Chávez". Retrieved 2 March 2014.
  35. Pablo Bachelet, Gustavo Cisneros Un empresario global, Barcelona, Planeta pag.20
  36. "Undergraduate Commencement 5PM - from Undergraduate Commencement: Business Administration and Engineering" (Livestream video). University of Miami. 12 May 2017.
  37. Espejo, Bárbara (17 October 2015). "Gustavo Cisneros presenta su libro: "Los Cisneros. Rostros y rastros de una familia. 1570-2015"" (Press release). EFE (in Spanish).
  38. "Golden Plate Awardees of the American Academy of Achievement". American Academy of Achievement.
  39. Garton, Jane; Le Gall, Philippe (25 July 2005). "Gustavo Cisneros Named MIPCOM 2005 Personality of the Year". MIPCOM. Archived from the original (Press Release) on 13 May 2006.
  40. "Gustavo Cisneros Named MIPCOM 2005 Personality of the Year". Broadcaster Magazine. 25 July 2005. Archived from the original on 19 May 2017. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  41. Variety, October 7, 2005
  42. "Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award". NATPE. Archived from the original on 1 April 2015. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  43. "NATPE 2015 Bio Reel: Gustavo & Adriana Cisneros, Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award Recipients". NATPE. 28 January 2015. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  44. Cisneros, Gustavo; Cisneros, Adriana (11 May 2015). "Gustavo y Adriana Cisneros speech during NATPE 2015" (Video). NATPE. Archived from the original on 2021-12-22.
  45. "Gustavo Cisneros, doctor "honoris causa" en Humanidades por la Universidad de Miami". El Imparcial (in Spanish). 12 May 2017.
  46. "Commissioners - GIIC - Global Information Infrastructure Commission". Global Information Infrastructure Commission.

Further reading

  • Bachelet, Pablo; Fuentes, Carlos (prólogo de) (2004). Gustavo Cisneros: Un empresario global (in Spanish). Barcelona: Planeta. ISBN 978-8-408-04958-6. OCLC 55114034.
  • Bachelet, Pablo; Fuentes, Carlos (foreword by); Grossman, Edith (translated by) (2004). Gustavo Cisneros: Pioneer. Barcelona: Planeta. ISBN 978-0-974-87248-3. OCLC 57305155.
  • Rodríguez, José Ángel; Iglesias, Carmen (prólogo); Ortega, Julio (epílogo) (2015). Los Cisneros: rostros y rastros de una familia, de la villa de Cisneros de Campos al nuevo mundo global (1570-2015) (in Spanish). Caracas: Fundación Cisneros. ISBN 978-0-984-01733-1. OCLC 936047687.
  • Rodríguez Luis, José Ángel; Iglesias, Carmen (prologue); Ortega, Julio (epilogue); Dodman, Jenny (translation) (2015). Cisneros: A Family History (1570-2015). Caracas: Fundación Cisneros. ISBN 978-0-984-01731-7. OCLC 922087148.
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