Richard Montanez

Richard Montañez

Former VP of Multicultural Sales

PepsiCo North America

While working at Frito-Lay as a janitor early in his career, Richard Montañez developed the ingenious idea for Flamin’ Hot Cheetos—now the Flamin’Hot line is a billion-dollar business and cultural phenomenon. During his leadership tenure at PepsiCo, Montañez was recognized for his visionary leadership, innovation and commitment to diversity. He has been named one of the most influential Latinos in corporate America and is the only four-time recipient of PepsiCo’s Chairman’s Award, the highest honor given to employees based on performance and work ethic. He has been featured for his leadership and innovation on Good Morning America, The Washington Post, Vanity Fair, Fortune and Newsweek. His story is also the subject of a forthcoming biopic by Fox Searchlight Films. Montañez’s inspiring leadership journey has made him a sought-after speaker for organizations including Target, Walmart, and universities including University of Southern California and Harvard. In addition to his corporate leadership, Montañez is a committed philanthropist and founder of Onelite, a nonprofit providing high-need families in the U.S. with food and school supplies. His new book, Flamin’ Hot: The Incredible True Story of One man’s Rise from Janitor to Top Executive, releases in 2021.

Years at GLS 2021

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