Amancio Ortega Gaona
|Born||Amancio Ortega Gaona
28 March 1936
Busdongo de Arbás, León, Spain
|Residence||A Coruña, Spain|
|Known for||Co-founder of the Inditex group
World's #3 wealthiest person (2013)
|Net worth||US$57 billion (2013)|
|Board member of||Inditex (CEO)|
Amancio Ortega Gaona (Spanish pronunciation: [aˈmanθio oɾˈteɣa gaˈona]; born 28 March 1936) is a Spanish fashion executive and founding chairman of the Inditex fashion group, best known for its chain of Zara clothing and accessories retail shops. In early 2013, he was ranked as the third richest person in the world by Forbes  with a net worth of USD $57 billion. The Bloomberg Billionaires Index on September 25, 2013 listed Amancio Ortega Gaona as the world's third richest person with reported combined assets of USD $65.6 billion. He resides with his second wife in an apartment building in Galicia, Spain.
The youngest of four children, Ortega was born in Busdongo de Arbás, León, Spain, and spent his childhood in León. He moved to A Coruña at the age of 14, due to the job of his father, a railway worker. Barely in his teens, Ortega found a job as a shop hand for a local shirtmaker called Gala, which still sits on the same corner in downtown A Coruña. In 1972, he founded Confecciones Goa (his initials in reverse), selling quilted bathrobes which Ortega produced using thousands of local women organised into sewing cooperatives. In 1975, he opened his first Zara store, so called because his preferred name Zorba was already taken. He opened many big Zara Stores during the eighties throughout Galicia, where some locals claim that Ortega did so with money from the growing drug dealing business happening at Galicia then. 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, until 1999, no photograph of Ortega had ever been published. He goes to the same coffee shop everyday and eats lunch with his employees in the company's cafeteria. He refuses to wear a tie and typically wears a simple uniform of a blue blazer, white shirt, and gray pants; none of which are Zara products. He is also said to take a very active part in the production and design process in the company.
When he made a public appearance in 2000 as part of the warm-up prior to his company's initial public offering on the stock market in 2001, it made headlines in the Spanish financial press. However, he has only granted interviews to three journalists ever and his secrecy has led to the publication of books, such as Amancio Ortega: de cero a Zara (From Zero to Zara).
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.
- Blanco, Xabier; Salgado, Jesús (2004). Amancio Ortega, de cero a Zara: El primer libro de investigación sobre el imperio Inditex. Esfera de los Libros. p. 271. ISBN 978-8-497-34167-7.
- "The World's Billionaires". http://www.forbes.com. Forbes. March 2013. Retrieved March 2013.
- Forbes World's Billionaire List
- "Bloomberg Billionares Index". Bloomberg LP. Retrieved 1 December 2012.
- Meet Amancio Ortega
- "Inditex Group Annual Report 2009". Inditex Group. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
- Meet The Secretive Spanish Billionaire
- Fuchs, Dale (13 January 2011). "End of the line for Zara tsar who built a €9bn empire". The Independent. Retrieved 18 February 2011.
|New title||President of Inditex