Meet our Team

Get to know our leaders

Andres Moreno

Andres Moreno


Andres Moreno is the Founder, Executive Chairman, and CEO of Open English, the leader in internet-based English language instruction.

Growing up in eight countries spanning three continents, Moreno managed to learn four languages on his own. He began his entrepreneurial career in his native Venezuela, co-founding Optimal English, a company that provided English-language training to Latin American executives at Fortune 500 companies, such as Procter and Gamble, Sun Microsystems, and Cargill. In 2005, Moreno left the traditional English language training company and teamed up with his classmate and friend Wilmer Sarmiento in Caracas to design a different type of online English course.

They rejected the traditional brick and mortar model and decided to create a system that would allow students to learn English online, with native English-speaking teachers from their home or workplace 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Currently, Open English has enrolled more than 500,000 students and has raised over USD $120 million in venture capital to drive the company’s expansion throughout the globe. Andres has also become the face of his own brand for appearing in the company’s television commercials, which have aired extensively since 2009 in over 20 markets.

Besides his role as engaged CEO and occasional TV ad actor, Moreno is a multifaceted entrepreneur involved in a myriad of projects of global impact. In 2013 he was appointed member of the Board of Directors of Endeavor Miami, a leading global promoter of entrepreneurship in emerging markets present in more than 16 countries, including 6 in Latin America. He is also a member of YPO Americas Gateway chapter, the world’s leading network of Chief Executives. Moreno also travels frequently to Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries to hold conferences on success and entrepreneurship.

In 2014, Andres Moreno founded his latest incursion, Next University, an online higher education institute that is bringing job-ready skills to the emerging middle class in LatAm.

The explosive growth of Open English and Andres’ thriving entrepreneurial role have resonated with the international press, being thoroughly featured in The Wall Street Journal, CNN, El Mercurio, Globo, El Tiempo, 0 Estado de Sao Paulo, The Miami Herald and other top media across the Americas.

Alexander Sotelo

Alexander Sotelo

Chief Financial Officer

Alex is responsible for the management of all financial transactions at Open English, as well as corporate financial planning, tax and audit. He is a licensed CPA with more than 15 years of financial management experience in roles at leading multinational digital media and broadcasting companies. Having worked extensively throughout the globe, Alex has focused his efforts during the last decade helping run businesses operating in Latin America.

Prior to joining Open English, Alex held the position of Latin America Controller at Yahoo! and previously held financial management positions at Discovery Communications and CBS/Viacom. He began his career working for KPMG, LLP. Alex is a cum laude graduate of Florida International University’s School of Business where he obtained a B.S. in Accounting, and obtained an MBA in International Business from the Keller Graduate School of Business. Alex, the son of Cuban immigrants, speaks fluent Spanish, advanced Portuguese and is conversational in Italian.

Wilmer Sarmiento

Wilmer Sarmiento

Founder & Vice President of Payment Systems

Wilmer first teamed up with Andres Moreno while the two were engineering students at the Universidad Simon Bolivar (USB) in Caracas, Venezuela. As the founding VP of Technology, Wilmer became the chief architect for the early online learning platform and was heading up infrastructure research and framework validation – his specialty. From there he moved onto leading the Payment Systems division. 

Wilmer has a degree in Computer Engineering from USB, having achieved the highest GPA in the history of the department. Without a day of traditional classroom training, Wilmer has also taught himself English, largely through the development of the Online School of Open English.

Maria Isabel Figueroa

María Isabel Figueroa

Chief Marketing Officer

Maria Isabel is responsible for the strategic development and execution of all Open Education Digital Marketing, Creative, and TV marketing initiatives. She brings over 15 years of experience in the field and has held senior marketing positions for Telemundo, Sony Pictures Latin America/Brazil, & Yahoo! Latin America/U.S. Hispanic Markets.

Maria Isabel holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.