April 15, 2022

The Business of Latino Leadership: Fabiola Torres

City National Bank was excited to welcome Fabiola Torres, CMO and senior vice president of PepsiCo's energy drink division, for the 2022 edition of the Business of Latino Leadership. Torres joined PepsiCo in 2020 after the company acquired Rockstar Energy Drink for $3.5 billion. Before arriving at PepsiCo, Torres earned a reputation for solving problems and generating growth for companies such as Nike and Apple's Beats by Dre.

Torres was joined in discussion by Leila Cobo, the vice president of Latin for Billboard. As the first U.S.-based journalist to cover Latin music daily, Cobo is one of the world's leading experts in Latin music, and is known for transforming it's coverage and perception.

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From Mexico to the United States: What Torres Learned

Torres credited her career evolution to hard work, a hunger to continue learning and a supportive group of family, friends and mentors. She also noted that it's important that a person becomes a specialist in something they're passionate about.

“In this world, it's not good to be a generalist," Torres commented. “It's good to be a professional that is specialized in something, and then we can build your expertise from that.

Torres spent half of her 18-year career with Nike working in Mexico. She focused on becoming an expert in global marketing trends to make sure that her opportunities weren't limited. She noted that the Latin market used to be viewed with limited potential, a bias that served as an barrier in the earliest days of her career.

“It wasn't like it is today," she said. “It was, 'Okay, you have a point of view for Latin, but we know more about all the others.'"

To defeat this stereotype, Torres focused on making her role a global one at Nike. She made sure she was a specialist in the entire global market rather than just the market where she lived and worked.

When her hard work brought her to the United States, Torres said, she felt the pressure to bring something special to the table. She eventually realized that her roots in Mexico equipped her with everything she needed for success.

“I had more marketing knowledge than a lot of people who are sitting there because they were always at a corporate level," Torres remembered. “I was really being brought from a market where we had to work a lot harder to get to where we wanted to be from a brand and marketplace perspective."

Are Companies Advertising to Latin Americans Differently?

Torres noted that Latin culture's global influence is changing the way that companies are approaching Latin consumers.

“Latin music has permeated even the domestic market in the U.S.," Torres said. “The adoption and the consumption rates have so much growth right now and so many possibilities and opportunities for brands, that we see the trends changing."

Torres stated that, for the first time, brands are treating the Latin market as a focus rather than an option. As an expert in the music industry, Cobo agreed.

“In our case, Latin America specifically, we are launching Billboard en Español geared toward a Latin American audience," Cobo said. “I think, 10 years ago, I don't know if I could have convinced them to do it that way."

To hear more from Torres and Cobo, watch the full conversation from the 2022 Business of Latino Leadership event above.

This article is for general information and education only. It is provided as a courtesy to the clients and friends of City National Bank (City National). City National does not warrant that it is accurate or complete. Opinions expressed and estimates or projections given are those of the authors or persons quoted as of the date of the article with no obligation to update or notify of inaccuracy or change. This article may not be reproduced, distributed or further published by any person without the written consent of City National. Please cite source when quoting. 

This presentation is for general information and education only. It is provided as a courtesy to the clients and friends of City National Bank (City National). City National does not warrant that it is accurate or complete. Opinions expressed and estimates or projections given are as of the date of the presentation with no obligation to update or notify of inaccuracy or change. This presentation may not be reproduced, distributed or further published by any person without the written consent of City National. Please cite source when quoting.

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