Modernizing the Family Business: Jose R. Mas, CEO of MasTec, Inc., Named Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2011 Real Estate, Construction and Lodging Award Winner

Mas honored for bringing company out of a restructuring phase and creating jobs during the recession

Nov 13, 2011, 02:47 ET from Ernst & Young LLP

PALM SPRINGS, Calif., Nov. 13, 2011Jose R. Mas, CEO of MasTec, Inc., was named Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur Of The Year 2011 Real Estate, Construction and Lodging Award winner. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year is the country's most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The award encourages entrepreneurial activity and recognizes leaders and visionaries who demonstrate innovation, financial success and personal commitment as they create and build world-class businesses.

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Mas was recognized for expanding MasTec's scope and leading the company through a restructuring phase during arguably the most challenging time for the telecommunications industry.  Through keen insight and strong leadership, MasTec has more than doubled its revenue and added more than 1,000 jobs to its workforce. Mas was honored at the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards gala, the culminating event of the Ernst & Young Strategic Growth Forum®, held in Palm Springs, California. The Forum is the nation's premier gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies. Awards were given in nine additional categories. The Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur Of The Year Award winners were selected by an independent panel of judges from approximately 300 regional award recipients.  

"Entrepreneurs like Mas are of a special breed. After inheriting the role of CEO from his father, Jose found ways to grow and modernize MasTec while holding on to the homegrown values that have ensured the company's sustainability," said Bryan Pearce, Americas Director, Entrepreneur Of The Year, Ernst & Young LLP. "Despite the odds, Mas developed clear goals to bring his company through a trying phase while continuing to expand the business and add jobs."

Learning the ropes

Mas first entered the family business as a teen, joining the company's construction crew and putting in the physical labor that is the core of MasTec's operations. As he moved up in the company, Mas held roles in each unit of the business, learning the nuts and bolts of every aspect of MasTec, as well as understanding the people contributing to the company's overall success. Once Mas took the company reins in 2007, analyst opinions for the telecommunications industry were discouraging, but Mas did not let this break his spirit. He led his company through the recession and into profitability, driven by three simple goals: 1) diversify the company's customer base, 2) penetrate new markets with sustainable growth opportunities and 3) improve profit margins. Mas was able to do all that and more in just four years.

Changing course

Although the outlook was grim in 2007, Mas recognized the need to change MasTec's revenue structure, since about 90% of revenue was generated by telecommunication installations, a sector that was in a deep decline. Therefore, he set out to acquire complementary businesses that were in need of expansion but didn't have the capital to support new growth. MasTec gained customers in previously uncharted territories, including natural gas and oil pipeline construction and renewable energy.

As CEO, Mas inspired his unit presidents to embody his entrepreneurial spirit and explore new opportunities for growth. Through expansion and diversifying services, MasTec shifted revenue from within telecom to 50%, with the remaining 50% of revenue generated by sales in the power industry. As a result, MasTec's revenue increased from $1 billion in 2007 to $2.3 billion in 2010. MasTec also added more than 1,000 new jobs in the last for years during one of the worst unemployment periods our nation has ever faced. Mas proved Wall Street analysts wrong and has helped build America's largest Hispanic-owned business.

National Entrepreneur Of The Year 2011 Real Estate, Construction and Lodging Award finalists

In addition to Mas, the finalists for the Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur Of The Year 2011 Real Estate, Construction and Lodging Award were: Terry S. Brown, CEO of Edens & Avant, of Columbia, South Carolina, one of the nation's leading private owners, operators and developers of retail real estate; William Glazer, President and CEO of Keystone Property Group, of Bala Cynwyd, Pennyslvania, a company that acquires, develops and manages commercial real estate in the office, flex and industrial sectors; Wayne Goldberg, President and CEO of LQ Management L.L.C., of Irving, Texas, one of the largest operators of limited-service hotels in the US, operating and franchising services to more than 800 hotels across the continent.

National Entrepreneur Of The Year 2011 Overall Award winners

Reid Hoffman, Chairman, and Jeff Weiner, CEO, of LinkedIn Corporation, were named the Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur Of The Year 2011 Overall Award winners.

Video and photos

To view video clips of all of the Entrepreneur Of The Year Award winners, please visit

Photos of the winners are also available by request.


Founded and produced by Ernst & Young LLP, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Program is pleased to have the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation as a national sponsor.

About Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year

Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year is the world's most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The unique award makes a difference through the way it encourages entrepreneurial activity among those with potential and recognizes the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. As the first and only truly global award of its kind, Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses, recognizing them through regional, national and global awards programs in more than 140 cities in 50 countries.

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