Gabriel Torres: The Latino Executive Heading Comcast's Sales and Marketing
He is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the Freedom Region, made up of Eastern PA, NJ, and Northern DE.
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Prior to joining Comcast, Gabriel Torres had been working in the wireless industry for 20 years. He worked at T-Mobile and Radioshack, and even ran his own wireless business.
Torres most recently worked at Sprint in Boston, where he was the Head of the New England region. He now works as Comcast’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the Freedom Region. This region is made up of Eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Northern Delaware.
Torres started his career on the development side of things. While getting a degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, he did a co-op program with Procter & Gamble. After graduating, he continued to work on development for the company.
His first job in sales and marketing was as the Sales and Marketing Manager for 3M in Mexico. While living in Mexico, he also worked in sales/marketing at Microsoft for a decade.
Bringing His Expertise to Comcast
In 2022, Torres joined Comcast as the Vice President of Sales and Marketing, where he “drive[s] sales and marketing activities and efforts for our customers in this region.”
As a Spanish speaker, Torres is able to communicate with Latino customers and community organizations to help drive their efforts.
One such community organization is Concilio, the oldest Latino organization in Philadelphia that focuses on family services. In 2022, Comcast partnered with the group to put on Concilio’s annual Hispanic Fiesta event.
They used the event to provide community members with information about their products, like Internet Essentials. This product became very useful during the pandemic when everything went online.
Internet Essentials is a program that Comcast has had on the market for over a decade that provides affordable internet as well as low-cost computers and free Wi-Fi to households that qualify.
To be eligible for the program someone needs to qualify for programs like housing assistance and Medicaid and not have had Xfinity Internet within the last 90 days (with the exception of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)). Currently the 90-day and outstanding debt eligibility requirements are being waived through December 31, 2023, for new internet customers regardless of ACP enrollment.
It costs $9.95/month for Internet Essentials and $29.95/month for Internet Essentials Plus.
ACP is a federal program Comcast participates in that provides a $30/month or $75/month (for Tribal lands) credit towards Internet and mobile services. This is for the duration of the program which is funded by the Federal government.
Torres explained that the company markets both programs to customers because, “when you combine the Affordable Connectivity Program with our Internet Essentials, they’re basically getting internet connectivity for free.”
The combination of the shift to digital and the fact many individuals lost their jobs during the pandemic, free internet connectivity was critical.
“The digital divide was even made more evident because people who couldn’t connect before, certainly in the pandemic couldn’t connect either,” said Torres.
It is for that reason he wants to ensure Comcast is able to reach all communities that it services with information about its programs.
Representation on the executive level
As one of the few Latino executives who make up that 5%, the disparity is something Torres believes needs to be addressed.
“We need to reflect the diversity of our customer base [and] the diversity of our employees. And so if you look at the broad demographic composition of the country… it’s important to have that reflected in the executive ranks of companies,” Torres stated.
He added, “I also view myself as leaning into the effort to make sure that we have good representation in the company from a Latino perspective at the manager and executive levels.”
Given his decades of experience in the industry, Torres has picked up some valuable tips along the way, sharing some of which to other diverse individuals looking for their own professional opportunities.
His advice for people of color who want to go into sales or marketing is threefold; look for opportunities, apply for jobs, and be visible.