Born 5th May 1945, Cesar Alierta holds a degree in law from the University of Zaragoza and earned an MBA at the University of Columbia (New York) in 1970.
He has been Chairman of Telefónica since July 2000, and member of the Boards of Directors of China Unicom and Telecom Italia. From September, 2010, he has been an independent board member, chairman of the Remuneration Committee and a member of the Nominations Committee of the Board of Directors of International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG), the company resulting from the merger of Iberia and British Airways.
Currently, Alierta is president of the Competitiveness Advisory Board, a think tank which includes eighteen of the biggest Spanish companies. He is also member of the Colombia Business School Board of Overseers and chairman of the Social Board of the UNED (National Long Distance Spanish University).
Between 1970 and 1985, he was General Manager of the Capital Markets division at Banco Urquijo in Madrid. Subsequently, he was the Chairman and founder of Beta Capital, which he combined as from 1991 with his post as Chairman of the Spanish Financial Analysts' Association. He has also been a member of the Board of Directors and Standing Committee of the Madrid Stock Exchange.
In 1996 he became Chairman of Tabacalera, S.A., where he gave his support and backing to the cross-border merger with the French company, Seita. The result of this merger was Altadis, where he served as Chairman until July when he was appointed Chairman of Telefónica. He has been a member of the Telefónica Board of Directors since 1997.
Among his latest awards, on June 2010, César Alierta received in New York the Americas Society Gold Medal in recognition of his important contribution to the growth and development of Latin America. Five years earlier, also in New York, Alierta received "The Global Spanish Entrepreneur" from the Spanish/US Chamber of Commerce. This prize was awarded in recognition of the Telefónica Group's success in joining the NY Dow Jones Global Titans 50 index. Telefónica is the first Spanish company and one of the few European ones to belong to this index which consists of the 50 biggest companies in the world.