Noteworthy Alumni in the Field of Business – Lorenzo Zambrano ’59

Lorenzo Zambrano '59 was a world-renown businessman and philanthropist. As CEO, he transformed Cemex, a Mexican cement company originally founded by his grandfather, into one of the largest cement producers in the world.

After Missouri Military Academy, Zambrano enrolled at the Monterrey Institute of Technology, where he earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. Shortly thereafter, he moved to California and completed his master's degree in business administration at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.  

After completing his studies, he returned home to join his grandfather's business, Cemex. After more than a decade of service in a variety of executive positions – from plant manager to director of operations – he was promoted to CEO of the company.

During his tenure as CEO, he drafted and led an aggressive growth strategy that allowed Cemex to grow from a primarily local operation to one of the top three global building-materials company in the world. Through more than 16 mergers and acquisitions, Cemex dominated the industry. Today, the global enterprise operates on four continents, has 66 cement plants, 2,000 ready-mix-concrete facilities, 400 quarries, 260 distribution centers and 80 marine terminals.

After an additional 10 years of service, Zambrano served as chairman on the board of directors and led the company through growth in the New York Stock Exchange.

During the 2008 financial crisis in the U.S., which was ultimately a global financial crisis experienced by the world, Zambrano saw both his company and community through the disaster. Through mindful, strategic planning, Zambrano renegotiated debt, sold assets and cut costs to save Cemex from certain bankruptcy. During that same period of time, he invested money into neighborhood renewal programs and security projects for his community in Monterrey, Mexico, and used Cemex’s expertise in technology to develop crowd-sourced platforms to report crime. His efforts curbed increasing crime and corruption in the area during an already difficult time.

In addition to his work at Cemex, Zambrano served as chairman on the board of the Monterrey Institute of Technology, one of the largest private universities in Latin America, and a member of the board of directors of IBM, Alfa, Banamex, Femsa, Empresas ICA, Televisa and Vitro. He also served on the international advisory board of Citigroup International and Allianz Companies.

In recognition of his business and philanthropic efforts, Zambrano received the Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship, the American Society's Gold Medal for Distinguished Service, the Excellence in Leadership Award from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and the Ernest C. Arbuckle Award for Managerial Excellence from the Stanford Business School's Alumni Association.

MMA is honored to name Zambrano among our noteworthy alumni.

Cadet News