Rosalía Mera

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Rosalía Mera
Born Rosalía Mera Goyenechea
(1944-01-28)28 January 1944
A Coruña, Galicia, Spain.
Died 15 August 2013(2013-08-15) (aged 69)
A Coruña, Galicia, Spain.
Cause of death
Complications from a stroke
Residence Liáns, Oleiros, A Coruña, Galicia Spain
Nationality Spanish
Known for Co-founder of Inditex
Net worth $6.1 billion as of 2013[1]
Spouse(s) Amancio Ortega Gaona (m. 1966 — div. 1986)[2]
Children Sandra Ortega Mera, Marcos Ortega Mera
Website
Official website

Rosalía Mera Goyenechea (28 January 1944 – 15 August 2013) was a Spanish businesswoman and entrepreneur. At the time of her death she was the richest woman in Spain[2] and the world's richest self-made woman.[3] In 1975, she co-founded the Zara retail chain with her then-husband Amancio Ortega Gaona. The company grew to become the world's largest fashion retailer.[4]

Early life and education[edit]

Rosalia Mera was born in A Coruña, Galiza, Spain in 1944.[4] She dropped out of school at age eleven to work as a sales assistant in a clothing shop.[2][5]

Career[edit]

Mera began designing gowns and lingerie in her home with her then-husband, Amancio Ortega Gaona. The couple opened the first Zara store in 1975 in A Coruña.[5] Eventually the couple parlayed their work into a multi-billion dollar enterprise. Zara's success was in part due to its strategy of imitating popular fashions and quickly making them for sale at inexpensive prices.[4]

Ten years after the opeining of the first Zara store, Inditex was established as a holding company for the couple's businesses.[5] Inditex now comprises multiple fashion companies, of which Zara is the flagship.[2] The company also owns the retailers Bershka, Massimo Dutti, Oysho, Pull & Bear, Stradivarius, Uterque and Zara Home.[6] Inditex now has over 6000 stores in over 86 countries[4] and over 120,000 employees.[6] Despite her 1986 divorce from Ortega,[2] Mera retained a 7% stake in the company.[7]

Mera also owned interests in a company which made fingerprinting identification kits for newborns[1] and another company, Zeltia, which carries out research into cancer fighting compounds of both synthetic and natural origin and particularly those bioactive compounds originating in the ocean.[1][8]

According to the 2013 Forbes billionaire list, Mera was the world's wealthiest self-made female entrepreneur, with a net worth of over $6 billion. She was the second-wealthiest person from Spain,[1] second only to her ex-husband.

Political and philanthropic activities[edit]

Mera opposed conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's plans to make Spain's abortion laws more restrictive.[6] She also opposed austerity cutbacks to Spain's national healthcare and education programes.[6]

Mera established the Paideia Foundation which works with groups in risk of social exclusion.[1][9]

Personal life[edit]

Mera married Amancio Ortega Gaona in 1966.[5] She had a son, Marcos, who was born mentally disabled.[1] The couple also had a daughter, Sandra.[5]

Death[edit]

On 14 August 2013, Mera was admitted to a hospital in Menorca in an ‘irreversible situation’ after suffering a stroke. The family had been on holiday in Menorca. Mera died on 15 August 2013 in A Coruña. She had been transferred by plane to the port city and then by ambulance to the Hospital San Rafael de A Coruña where she later died of complications.[10][11] Inditex confirmed Mera's death on 16 August 2013,[12] stating "The group wishes to send its sincere condolences to her loved ones and friends at this extremely difficult time, after the loss of a person who contributed so much to the origins and development of the company."[2] She was buried in the cemetery of the church of Santa Eulalia of Liáns, in Oleiros(A Coruña).[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Kroll, Luisa. "The Rarer Sex: The Self-Made Women Billionaires Of 2013". Forbes. Retrieved 10 March 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Zara co-founder Rosalia Mera dies aged 69". BBC News. 16 August 2013. Retrieved 16 August 2013. 
  3. ^ Carlyle, Erin (16 August 2013). "Rosalia Mera, World's Richest Self-Made Woman, Dies At 69". Forbes. Retrieved 16 August 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d Dennys, Harriet (16 August 2013). "Rosalia Mera". Daily Telegraph (London). 
  5. ^ a b c d e Baigorri, Manuel (16 August 2013). "Rosalia Mera, Who Was Spain’s Richest Woman, Dies at 69". Bloomberg. Retrieved 16 August 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Rosalia Mera, World's Wealthiest Self-Made Woman, Dies At 69". Huffington Post. 16 August 2013. Retrieved 16 August 2013. 
  7. ^ Hetz, Robert (15 August 2013). "UPDATE 1-Co-founder of Zara-owner Inditex dies in hospital-report". Reuters. Retrieved 16 August 2013. 
  8. ^ Zeltia website
  9. ^ EC accreditation for the foundation
  10. ^ Rosalía Mera, has been admitted to hospital in Menorca in an ‘irreversible situation’ after suffering a stroke (15 August 2013). Retrieved 16 August 2013
  11. ^ Muere Rosalía Mera, cofundadora de Inditex (16 August 2013). Retrieved 16 August 2013. (Spanish)
  12. ^ Conti, Samantha (16 August 2013). "Rosalia Mera, Cofounder of Inditex, Dies". WWD. Retrieved 16 August 2013. 
  13. ^ Rosalía Mera será enterrada este sábado en A Coruña.