The story behind the ‘Flamin’ Hot’ rise from janitor to marketing executive

Richard Montanez discusses his new book, "Flamin' Hot: The Incredible True Story of One Man's Rise from Janitor to Top Executive" and his role in inventing Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.
6:30 | 06/18/21

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:



Skip to this video now

Now Playing:


Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for The story behind the ‘Flamin’ Hot’ rise from janitor to marketing executive
We turn out to a man who made a meteoric rise in the world of marketing and says he helped create those fleeing in hot she knows that so many of us love. Richard and untimely as author of Celine and hot the incredible true story of one man's rise from janitor to top executive. Joins us tonight mister Ron time yes thank you very much for your time. You're story's been described as the embodiment of the American dream the child of immigrant farmworkers. He dropped out of school in the sixth grade when you started your career Frito-Lay use of the only job you could get was a janitor. How do you go from there to becoming the first Mexican American to be promoted to an executive Rolla PepsiCo. Rockers of all thank you for having me on your show this in itself says is a Yury. She were stated I started off Margaret while farmworkers Chara which more like a community. And you know I had every. Small dog you can bigger or better car lot or. Gardner led by neighbors said that they are working here 308. Applied and got hired at the janitor. And who we got a new CEO of namely Roger record very charismatic later be a good friend of mine Barea. Just a great guy became my mentored and he sent out a video. And the video was very inspiration not keep in mind this is Gary when corporate America with a commanding control. I didn't hire you did they are needed Ewart I need to do so. He was the first one of the first CEO to introduce environment I saw that video he should act like an owner. And I've got to tell you it just got a whole litany I want all and I told my wife say the new CEO sit back and ordered and my wife Judy said what. Bought an act and all her I would just totally inspired by its statement. And I loved to tell that story is I want people to understand it many times opportunities that come your way it's your choice. Volume receipt of because everyone around me was saying Richard he's not talking. He's got just corporates Douglas street liking what this is my. My one break and I went from not to go from there. You can't argue with the results and you rises then. Universally celebrated. We do have to address at least some controversy lately the LA times published an investigation into the actress accuracy of your account. That they concluded you work solely responsible for the invention of flame and hot she does we raced out to PepsiCo. And they said that he wanted to clarify some. Some comments that they felt were misconstrued and they said quote we attribute the launch and success of flame and hot she knows and other products to several people who worked at PepsiCo including. Richard non Tonya has. And they wrote that there were different work streams tackling the same product without interacting that they can't draw a clear link. Between your contribution and that of others so given what's been written about all of this what is your response I know you stand by your claim that you came up with the idea. Yes you know I will. First off I didn't I didn't read Ed article. But I. Know their. Part Scot Shields and all over the world. Sony created competing torch relay from PepsiCo. When PepsiCo released the last statement by words. I was feeling good about it. You know because I don't know what was going on on the other side of the country could use help you understand my position. All I was still on the clock I wasn't a manager I wondered executive. Nobody told me to go and do this nobody said this is your assignment this is your job. I just took it and seals. Are empowered statement to act like an art so everything I did we get it on my kitchen. And I have to remind people you know. The people that are speaking against distorted they warrant in the kitchen with meat and I cannot and I will not ever allow anyone to dictate. To me what I did or what I didn't do so I was satisfied with what PepsiCo. Said. You know I appreciate the cup dollars and 42 year Irish. You know so I learned an awful lot of stuff there are so very thankful for them you know trying to clarify that they. President and even a beyond the creation that your. Your career was more than the creation of flame or not she does to be clear you've made it all the way up to marketing executives could affect the point that. Now your life story is the subject of a movie being directed by Eva Longoria. Coming from where you came from. What impact would this story had had on you as a young person growing up in your circumstances to see somebody make it up as high as you get. Tickets are first of all it's it's unbelievable. They're oh movies being made about yours truly but I think you know. I what is you know heard something like back you know keep in mind when I grew up our. I was a child during media. Well civil rights movement or sixties. There wasn't a whole lot of individuals that look like me talk like me and act like we. So much blood did that I'm excited about that I really believe that my book. And my story it war was first launched the American dream on American I love this country I think there's opportunities for everyone. I also believe get my stories story unit chief. And I believe it if you look at you know what I role in when the seat of who movie it's a lot. A brown man. Working away at. A white male seal and other executives and my bench it was an African American unnamed Julius Sima Yi. So you have 332. Men of color working little wider net you know bring everybody together a unity and help change freed or when it's what the story is all about. You know how does a white male from the highest level come down to the lowest level and work what do. A Mexican to do the state saw that's the inspiration and it and I hope that other leaders will cede. They you know what you can do the same thing you know you have a janitor waiting to bust out you have a generator that probably had a billion dollar idea that your job let him. You know we just this week lost a photographer here at ABC news he started in the mail room and our company climbed his way up in the same fashion and you did. And those words ring true here as well Richard Bond Tania as we thank you for your time flaming hots incredible true story of one man's rise from janitor to top executives. Is available wherever books are sold. Picture thank you so much I appreciate that thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"duration":"6:30","description":"Richard Montanez discusses his new book, \"Flamin' Hot: The Incredible True Story of One Man's Rise from Janitor to Top Executive\" and his role in inventing Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. ","mediaType":"default","section":"ABCNews/US","id":"78348106","title":"The story behind the ‘Flamin’ Hot’ rise from janitor to marketing executive ","url":"/US/video/story-flamin-hot-rise-janitor-marketing-executive-78348106"}