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Amancio Ortega Gaona

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Amancio Ortega Gaona's Social Links

Profile

Spain’s richest man owns 59 percent of Inditex, the world’s largest clothing retailer and parent of the Zara chain. The Arteixo, Spain-based company operates more than 6,000 stores and had revenue of 16.7 billion euros ($22 billion) in the year ended January 2014. Through two closely held investment companies, he holds office and retail property throughout Europe and the U.S. His current net worth is about $63.4 billion.

Born in 1936 to a railroad worker and housewife in northwestern Spain, Ortega started working in a clothing shop in the city of La Coruna at age 13. In 1963, he started making women’s bathrobes with sibling and soon-to-be-wife Rosalia Mera, who stitched some of the first items by hand in their home.

He opened the first Zara store in 1975. A decade later, he incorporated the China Intoa holding company named Inditex. He and Mera separated around the same time, and ultimately divorced; she was Inditex’s second-largest shareholder until she died from a brain hemorrhage in Aug. 2013. From 1988 to 1990, Ortega expanded to Portugal, France and the U.S. and in the decade that followed, he introduced the Pull & Bear and the Bershka brands and acquired Massimo Dutti and Stradivarius. In 2001, Inditex raise 2.4 billion euros in a public offering. By 2010, the company had more than 5,000 stores in 77 countries.

Ortega has invested much of his dividend income over the past decade into office and retail properties in major cities in Spain, the U.S. and elsewhere in Europe. Since he stepped down as chairman in 2011, speculation has grown that daughter Marta Ortega Perez will someday take the reins of the company.

He lives in A Coruna, Spain and has 3 children.

Companies and Investments

Gartler SL (Chairman), Industria de Diseno Textil SA (Board Member), Amancio Ortega Foundation (President, Board of Trustees)

Lessons Learned

Keep Your Work Separate — It's OK to be discreet. I always try to stay away from the media unless I'm talking about my companies' progress. I have only given one interview in my lifetime.

Inspiring Quotes

As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.

Bill Gates

Amancio Ortega Gaona's Quotes

I only want to be recognized on the street by my family, my friends the people who work with me. I aim to lead a tranquil life like any other man, to be able to go anywhere, drink a coffee on the terrace of Plaza de Maria Pita or take a walk with my wife on the Paseo Maritimo without people knowing who I am.

Amancio Ortega Gaona

Influential Books

David Martinez - Zara: Visión y estrategia de Amancio Ortega / Vision and Strategy of Amancio Ortega (Spanish Edition)

Mentors

Children, Parents

References


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