Zillow Speaker Series: Vicente Fox, Former President of Mexico
Former President of Mexico Vicente Fox (second from right) with Zillow co-founders Lloyd Frink (far left), Rich Barton (second from left) and Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff (far right).
It’s not every day you get a visit from a former head of state. Vicente Fox, president of Mexico from 2000 to 2006, visited Zillow’s Seattle office this week as a guest speaker for the Zillow Speaker Series.
He covered a wide range of topics, including what he’s gleaned from public office and the private sector. Fox started off by referencing the Seattle Seahawks’ Super Bowl victory, stating they had the recipe for success: having a clear objective and working as a team.
Former Mexico President Fox
The second of nine children, Fox grew up on an 11-acre ranch in Mexico. He started his career as a truck driver for the Coca-Cola Company and worked up the ranks to supervise the company’s operations in Mexico and eventually all of Latin America. While in office, Fox worked under the National Action Party (PAN) to help end corruption and improve Mexico’s economy.
“I was really scared about moving into politics because all my life was in the private sector,” he said. “…But I said to myself, ‘It can be exactly the same.’ I still have to get customer satisfaction, optimize resources and oversee quality control.”
Fox believes governments today should be pragmatic, rather than ideologically driven, referencing China as a prime example.
“Religions and ideologies in political parties are not enough,” he said. “Let’s decide what is best for our countries this year.”
When asked about U.S.-Mexico relations, the former president said migration reform and ending prohibition on drugs are top-of-mind.
“On the surface, [U.S.-Mexico relations] are always said to be great, but that’s not really true,” he said. “It’s a visionary idea to partner to better develop our nations, but this is now a 20-year-old idea. It needs to be renewed, reinvented to make a stronger partnership.”
Fox believes we’re privileged because each one of us has “access to a cloud of knowledge,” but if we just sit and observe that cloud, things won’t happen.
“We all must work together for one purpose,” he said. “That’s teamwork. That’s what brings success and what can serve to help bring happiness to every child and every community in the world.”
Previous Zillow Speaker Series guests include:
- Hank Crumpton, Former CIA Spy
- Robert Scoble, Rackspace Startup Liaison Officer
- Laureen France, FTC Senior Investigator
- Rand Fishkin, Moz Founder & CEO
- Matthew Winkler, Bloomberg News Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief
- Exec and Justin.tv Founder Justin Kan
- Scripps Networks Interactive CEO Ken Lowe
- Darrell Cavens, CEO of Zulily
- Georgetown Brewing Co-Founder Roger Bialous
- Cinnabon Co-Founder Greg Komen
- TrueCar CEO Scott Painter
- Joel Spolsky of Stack Exchange
- Tom Douglas, chef and restaurateur
- Steven VanRoekel, White House Chief Information Officer
- Jay Inslee, then-candidate for Washington governor
- Gabe Zichermann, author and consultant
- Rob McKenna, former Washington attorney general and candidate for governor
- Ronnie Chan, chairman of Hang Lung Properties Limited
- Hadi Partovi, angel investor, startup investor
- GrubHub co-founders Mike Evans and Matt Maloney
- Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn
- Adam Goldstein of Hipmunk
- Adam Lashinsky, author of “Inside Apple”
- Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
- John Cook of GeekWire
- FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski
- Gordon Stephenson of Real Property Associates
- Bill Gurley of Benchmark Capital
- Richard Tait of Cranium
- Adrian Hanauer of Sounders FC
- Steve Souders of Google
Source: Zillow Blog