Richard Montanez

Richard Montañez is an author and businessman.

Read the story everyone is talking about: how a janitor struggling to put food on the table invented Flamin ‘Hot Cheetos in a secret test kitchen, breaking barriers and becoming the first Latino frontline worker promoted to executive at Frito-Lay.

Richard Montañez is a man who made a science out of walking through closed doors, and his success story is an empowerment manual for anyone stuck in a dead-end job or facing a system stacked against them.

Having taken a job mopping floors at Frito-Lay’s California factory to support his family, Montañez took his future into his own hands and created the world’s hottest snack food: Flamin ‘Hot Cheetos. This bold move not only disrupted the food industry with some much-needed spice, but also shook up a corporate culture in which everyone stayed in their lane. When a top food scientist at Frito-Lay sent out a memo telling sales and marketing to kill the new product before it made it to the store shelves — jealous that someone with no formal education beyond the sixth grade could do his job — Montañez was forced to go rogue once again to save his idea. Through creative thinking, community building, and a few powerful mindset shifts, he outsmarted the naysayers who tried to get in his way.

Connect with me