After graduation he went to work for the Coca Cola Company, starting off as a route supervisor and driving a delivery truck. He rose in the company to become supervisor of Coca Cola's operations in Mexico, and then in all of Latin America.
Fox joined the PAN (National Action Party) in the 1980s, and in 1988 was elected to congress representing León, Guanajuato. He ran for governor of Guanajuato in 1991, and many think he got the most votes, but the ruling PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party) candidate was declared the winner in what a number of observers considered a dishonest fix by the PRI. In 1995 he won the governorship of his state by a wide margin and took office. His term as governor was noted for honesty and transparency of government, and the economy of Guanajuato flourished. Fox was nominated as the PAN party's presidential candidate for 2000 and won the election.