PRESIDENT & CEO-SOMOS GROUP
Is a Venezuelan-American media entrepreneur, who has worked for more than 35 years in the finance, media and entertainment industries and more recently participating in the hospitality business. Villanueva, an economist with an MBA degree, is the President and CEO of SOMOS GROUP, a Miami-based entertainment group of companies. SOMOS Group is formed by SOMOSTV (a pay-tv production and distribution company), SOMOS Next (an SVOD and direct to consumer digital content distribution company), SOMOS Productions (an independent TV production enterprise), SOMOS Films (feature films’ production enterprise) and SOMOS Distribution (a global content distribution entity). Additionally, Luis Villanueva recently opened Tur Kitchen, his first restaurant, a Mediterranean eatery located in Coral Gables.
Villanueva’s career started in the financial sector, where he rose from entry positions to become the Finance Manager of “Banco Consolidado”, a Venezuelan bank. In 1982 he joined the Cisneros Group where he worked for 26 years. During this time, he occupied corporate positions, becoming the CFO of the Group. In operational roles he rose to be the President and CEO of Venevision International, transforming the company from an international TV programming distributor to an full-on entertainment enterprise. Under Luis Villanueva’s leadership the company expanded, beyond its original purpose, into TV Production, Film Distribution, Pay TV channels’ production and distribution, publishing, live events production, music distribution and production, mobile content production and distribution, and new media distribution outlets.
Luis Villanueva is a member of several organizations such as the International Emmys, CEAL (Consejo Empresarial de America Latina, an organization of Latin-American entrepreneurs). He sat on the Directory of several international companies registered on different stock exchanges, among them Claxson (XSON), Cervecerias Peruanas Backus & Johnston and was a member of the Board of the Latin Grammy’s. In addition, he has served as a Board Member of various educational institutions.
Villanueva has been a recipient of two prestigious honors from the Venezuelan government: the Order of Diego de Losada in its First Class (awarded for outstanding merit in the areas of work, urban development, culture and science, contributing to the progress of the country) and the Order of Francisco de Miranda in its Second Class (recognizing Venezuelan citizens and foreigners who have contributed to the sciences, progress of the country, to the humanities or who have exemplified outstanding merits). In March of 2002 Mr. Villanueva was honored with the keys to the city of Miami, a merit given by the Miami-Dade County in Florida, for his leadership role in Venevision International’s contribution to the arts and culture of the local community. To conclude, he is an active member of the community, supporting humanitarian non-for-profit organizations.