Where Does Richard Montanez Stand With His Net Worth?

richard montanez net worth

Richard Montanez net worth is something that almost everyone wants to know. Richard Montanez is a unique man whose rise from poverty to prominence has been an example to countless people. Montanez was born in the rural California village of Guasti to humble Mexican-American parents. 

His dogged persistence and entrepreneurial drive carried him along an incredible course despite encountering obstacles and few possibilities.

The name Richard Montaez has been trending on social media for days now, thanks to his famous profession and invention that made him a billionaire speaker.

Richard Montaez currently serves in an important position at PepsiCo. He oversees Multicultural Sales and Marketing for all of Pepsi’s North American businesses. He has worked in many of the company’s divisions.

Who is Richard Montanez?

Richard Montaez is a successful businessman, speaker, and author from the United States.

Frito-Lay employed him as a caretaker after he dropped out of school. And eventually rose through the ranks to become an executive there. 

Frito-Lay and other employees have contested his assertion of inventing Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, despite his widespread fame for it. This assertion inspired the film Flamin’ Hot (2023).

In Ontario, California, Montez was born into a family of Mexican ancestry. He is one of ten children and was reared in a migrant labour camp in Guasti, a small town northeast of Los Angeles.

He didn’t finish high school and instead went to work as a labourer before Frito-Lay employed him as a caretaker at their Rancho Cucamonga factory in 1976 when he was just 18 years old.

Records show that by October 1977, Montez had advanced to the machinist operator position at Frito-Lay, and by autumn 1993, he had reached the level of senior machinist operator.


When a Cheetos machine malfunctioned, Montaez allegedly took some unflavored snacks home and flavoured them with Mexican street corn spices.

He presented his concept to CEO Roger Enrico over the phone and received an invitation to present it in person. In preparation for the presentation, he researched marketing at the local library.

Then, Montaez marketed the product to the expanding Latino market by distributing free samples in colourful, hand-decorated plastic bags. The company launched the product in a limited capacity in Los Angeles to test the market after six months. After a successful trial, they approved a full rollout in 1992.

According to Newsweek, the brand revitalized and generated billions of dollars in revenue by incorporating the flavour into a variety of products.

An internal Frito-Lay inquiry disproved Montaez’s claim that he invented Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, according to a May 2021 article published in the Los Angeles Times. 

A spokeswoman from Frito-Lay said, “We value Richard’s numerous achievements to our company, especially his insights into Hispanic consumers. 

However, we do not credit him for creating Flamin’ Hot Cheetos or other Flamin’ Hot products.”  

Moreover, the Times reported that McCormick developed the seasoning and provided initial samples to Frito-Lay on December 15, 1989, that newspaper articles announced the test market release in 1990 in Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, and Houston, and that Roger Enrico did not join Frito-Lay until 1991,  all of which contradicted Montaez’s claims. 

An ex-employee named Lynne Greenfeld, who oversaw the team responsible for creating the spicy snack in single-serve style, complained in 2018, prompting the company to launch an internal investigation. 

Fred Lindsay, a salesperson who worked for Frito-Lay in the Great Lakes region, created spicy snacks early on in his career and eventually earned a promotion to the company’s headquarters.

In 1993, Montez began his career as a machine operator. Over time, he worked his way up to becoming a marketing executive at Frito-Lay.

During his tenure, he played a crucial role in promoting new products like Flamin’ Hot Popcorn, Flamin’ Hot Corn Chips, and Lime and Chile Corn Chips.

Frito-Lay’s former Latino consultant Roberto Siewczynski sets the record straight, saying that what Montaez has detailed did occur in 1994 during the Sabrositas test market.

Sarah Gonzalez, an NPR reporter, revealed her investigation for a Planet Money interview with Montaez that was released before the LA Times article.

Former Frito-Lay executive Al Carey and Roger Enrico’s former assistant Patti Reuff claim that in 1992 or later, Montaez offered a comparable idea. Carey claimed the item was legally sold in California and seasoned with Midwestern ingredients. 

Montaez and two others presented Latino-targeted products at the Rancho Cucamonga plant, including spicy Cheetos and cinnamon popcorn.

Since Roger Enrico wasn’t there and the meeting’s date couldn’t be verified, it was hard to tell if this was the gathering that Montaez, Carey, and Reuff said they attended

After the LA Times piece came out, Montaez still told Variety that he had been forced out of development before the test markets. He also said that his contributions had not been documented because of his low status in the corporation.

Lewis Colick, who wrote the screenplay for Flamin’ Hot, responded that while not everything in the film was based on actual events, “enough of it was.”

The incident has strained our valued friendship with Richard Montaez and the Latino community,” PepsiCo said in a statement defending Montaez’s work for the company. 

The statement claimed that “some have misconstrued the information we shared with the media,” but it did not directly refute anything reported in the Times.

Formerly of PepsiCo North America, Montaez was vice president of multicultural sales and community initiatives.  While an inquiry of his Flamin’ Hot Cheetos claim was ongoing at PepsiCo, he resigned in March 2019.

Both A Boy, a Burrito, and a Cookie and Flamin’ Hot: The Incredible True Story of One Man’s Rise from Janitor to Top Executive are autobiographical works by Montaez. His life story is the focus of Eva Longoria’s movie Flamin’ Hot.

How old is Richard Montanez?

Richard Montanez, who turns 65 in 2023 and was born on November 15 in the lively California town of Guasti, exudes hope.

Height & Weight

Richard Montanez, who was born on August 15, 1958, is a successful writer and entrepreneur. He has earned a respectable income from his profession. Richard Montanez stands at 170 centimetres tall and weighs 165 pounds (75 kilograms).

Richard Montanez Net worth

Experts predict that Richard Montaez will have a net worth of $15 million by 2023.

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