Amancio Ortega portrait by Danor Shtruzman
|Born||Amancio Ortega Gaona
28 March 1936
Busdongo de Arbás, León, Spain
|Residence||A Coruña, Spain|
|Known for||Co-founder of Inditex Group|
|Net worth||US$68.4 billion (May 2018)|
|Board member of||Inditex (CEO) Daez (COO)|
|Children||3 (including Sandra Ortega Mera)|
Amancio Ortega Gaona (Spanish pronunciation: [a'man?jo or'te?a ?a'ona], born 28 March 1936) is a Spanish business tycoon. He is the founder and former chairman of Inditex fashion group, best known for its chain of Zara clothing and accessories retail shops. As of March 2018, Ortega had a net worth of $68.4 billion, making him the second wealthiest person in Europe after Bernard Arnault, and the sixth-wealthiest in the world.
The youngest of four children, Ortega was born in Busdongo de Arbás, León, Spain, to Antonio Ortega Rodríguez and Josefa Gaona Hernández from the province of Valladolid, and spent his childhood in León.
He left school and moved to A Coruña at the age of 14, due to the job of his father, a railway worker. Shortly after, he found a job as a shop hand for a local shirtmaker called Gala, which still sits on the same corner in downtown A Coruña, and learned to make clothes by hand. In 1972, he founded Confecciones Goa to sell quilted bathrobes.
Today, Zara is part of the Inditex group (Industrias de Diseño Textil Sociedad Anónima), of which Ortega owns 59.29%, and aside from over 6,000 stores includes the brands Zara, Massimo Dutti, Oysho, Zara Home, Kiddy's Class, Tempe, Stradivarius, Pull and Bear, Bershka and has more than 92,000 employees.
Ortega keeps a very low profile and is known for his preference for a simple lifestyle. Until 1999, no photograph of Ortega had ever been published. He refuses to wear a tie and typically prefers to wear a simple uniform of a blue blazer, white shirt, and gray trousers, none of which are Zara products.
His public appearance in 2000, as part of the warm-up prior to his company's initial public offering on the stock market in 2001, made headlines in the Spanish financial press. However, he has only ever granted interviews to three journalists.
In 2011, Ortega announced his imminent retirement from Inditex, parent company of the Zara chain, stating that he would ask Inditex vice-president and CEO Pablo Isla to take his place at the helm of the textile empire. In 2012 Ortega donated about EUR20 million to Caritas Internationalis, a Roman Catholic relief organisation.
|New title||President of Inditex