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Amancio Ortega

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Amancio Ortega
Born (1936-03-28) 28 March 1936 (age 88)
Known forCo-founder of Inditex Group
Richest person in Spain
Board member ofInditex
Daez (COO)
(m. 1966; div. 1986)
Flora Pérez Marcote
(m. 2001)
Children3, including Sandra Ortega Mera

Amancio Ortega Gaona (Spanish pronunciation: [aˈmanθjo oɾˈteɣa ɣaˈona]; born 28 March 1936) is a Spanish billionaire businessman. He is the founder and former chairman of Inditex fashion group, best known for its chain of Zara and Bershka clothing and accessories shops. He is considered a pioneer in fast fashion.[1] As of November 2023, Ortega had a net worth of $73 billion, making him the third-wealthiest person in Europe after Bernard Arnault and Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, and the 14th-wealthiest in the world.[2] For a brief period of time in 2015, he was the richest man in the world, surpassing Bill Gates when his net worth peaked to $80 billion as Zara's parent company, Inditex's, stock peaked.[3]

He is the head of the Ortega family and the second wealthiest retailer in the world.[4][5]

Early life and education[edit]

The youngest of four children, Ortega was born in Busdongo de Arbas, León, Spain, to Antonio Ortega Rodríguez and Josefa Gaona Hernández from the province of Valladolid, and spent his childhood in Tolosa, Gipuzkoa.[6]

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.[7]


In 1963, he founded Confecciones Goa to sell quilted bathrobes.[8]

In 1975, he opened his first Zara store with his wife Rosalía Mera.[9]

In 2009, Zara was part of the Inditex group (Industrias de Diseño Textil Sociedad Anónima), of which Ortega owned 59.29%, and aside from over 6,000 stores included the brands Zara, Massimo Dutti, Oysho, Zara Home, Kiddy's Class, Tempe, Stradivarius, Pull and Bear, Bershka and has more than 92,000 employees.[10]

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.[11]

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 as head. In 2012 Ortega donated about €20 million to Caritas Internationalis, a Roman Catholic relief organisation.[12]

He purchased the Torre Picasso skyscraper in Madrid. He also purchased the Epic Residences and Hotel in Miami, Florida.[13]

In July 2017, for its second edition of the AEF awards, the Spanish Association of Foundations awarded Amancio Ortega in the 2017 Philanthropic Initiative category.[14] He also donated 300 million euros to fight cancer across Spain, which were invested in the purchase of 440 machines to detect the disease. As a result of this, the number of Spanish public hospitals equipped with stereotactic radiotherapy machines has risen from 20 to 70.[15] However, these decisions were not unanimously welcomed and were criticized by some political parties like Podemos.[16] Recently, news indicate that he has bought the Troy Block complex, known to the public as one of the buildings where Amazon Seattle has its headquarters.[17]

It was revealed in July 2020 that Ortega's property holdings, through his investment company Pontegadea, were worth $17.2 billion. Ortega is the executive chairman of Pontegadea, and real estate assets in his portfolio include Manhattan’s Haughwout Building and Southeast Financial Center. In 2019, the company completed a $72.5 million deal for a downtown Chicago hotel, which followed purchases of a building in Washington’s central business district and two Seattle office buildings.[18][19]

Ortega was reported to have lost $10 billion as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.[20]

Net worth[edit]

Amancio Ortega's fortune in 2021 is estimated to be around 73.1 billion euros. He has been considered for years as one of the five richest men in the world, although currently he has been left out of the top 10 billionaires worldwide.[21][22]

He is currently the largest shareholder of Inditex, with almost 60-65%.[23][24]

Through the Pontegadea company, he brings together all his assets based on real estate investment and financial investments. Regarding real estate assets, this is concentrated in Madrid and Barcelona, located on the axis of the main business streets of both cities, where it has more than twenty properties distributed along Paseo de la Castellana, Serrano, Recoletos, Ortega y Gasset (Madrid) and on Paseo de Gracia or via Laietana (Barcelona). Internationally, he also owns properties in five other major European capitals (Paris, Berlin, Rome, Lisbon and London).

In December 2019, Pontegadea acquired 5% of the energy company Enagás for 281.64 million euros. In July 2021, it acquired the same percentage of the also energy company Red Eléctrica and 12% of Redes Energéticas Nacionais, operators of the Spanish and Portuguese electricity grids respectively.[25]

Personal life[edit]

Ortega is very private about his personal life, and as of 2012 he has only given three interviews to journalists. Ortega is very reclusive and keeps a very low profile.[26] Until 1999, no photograph of Ortega had ever been published.

He likes to dress simply, 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.[11]

He married Rosalía Mera Goyenechea in 1966, they had two children, Marcos and Sandra Ortega Mera, the couple divorced in 1986. Mera died in August 2013 at the age of 69. He married his second wife Flora Pérez Marcote in 2001, with whom he had a daughter, Marta Ortega Pérez, in 1984 .[27] As of 2017, despite owning a huge real estate portfolio he mostly lives with his wife in his apartment in A Coruña, Spain.[13]

He owns two yachts: "Drizzle" and "Valoria B", as well as a Gulfstream G650 jet.[28][29]

See also[edit]


  • 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.


  1. ^ "Amancio Ortega". Forbes. Retrieved 11 April 2024.
  2. ^ "Bloomberg Billionaires Index: Amancio Ortega". Bloomberg . Retrieved 5 November 2023.
  3. ^ Warren, Katie. "Meet Amancio Ortega, the fiercely private Zara founder who's worth $62 billion and owns properties in Madrid, London, and New York City". Business Insider. Archived from the original on 22 October 2019. Retrieved 22 October 2019.
  4. ^ "Amancio Ortega". Forbes. Archived from the original on 21 June 2017. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  5. ^ "The World's Billionaires". Forbes. Archived from the original on 4 March 2019. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  6. ^ Martínez, David (25 October 2012). Zara: Visión y estrategia de Amancio Ortega. Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial España. p. 10. ISBN 9788415431473.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ Walt, Vivienne (8 January 2013). "Meet Amancio Ortega: The third-richest man in the world". Cable News Network. Time Warner Company. Archived from the original on 18 February 2013. Retrieved 20 February 2013.
  8. ^ Alonso, Ana Polo; Press, Europa (28 March 2022). "Hoy cumple 86 años Amancio Ortega, el hombre que juró que no volvería a pasar hambre". El Independiente (in Spanish). Retrieved 26 April 2022.
  9. ^ Dennys, Harriet (16 August 2013). "Zara founder Rosalia Mera's fast-fashion legacy to the British high street". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 16 August 2013. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
  10. ^ "Inditex Group Annual Report 2009" (PDF). Inditex Group. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 June 2012. Retrieved 26 May 2014.
  11. ^ a b Lutz, Ashley. "Meet The Secretive Spanish Billionaire Whose Net Worth Rose The Most In 2012". Business Insider. Archived from the original on 17 February 2019. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
  12. ^ "Amancio Ortega Foundation donates 20 million euros to charity". Thinkspain.com. 25 October 2012. Archived from the original on 16 July 2017. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
  13. ^ a b "Meet the reclusive Spanish billionaire who just beat out Bill Gates to become the richest person in the world" Archived 22 June 2018 at the Wayback Machine, Business Insider, Kate Taylor and Will Martin, August 30, 2017
  14. ^ "Amancio Ortega, Fundación Accenture y Fundación Recover, premiados por su labor filantrópica". ABC (in Spanish). Vocento. 17 July 2017. Archived from the original on 18 July 2017. Retrieved 17 July 2017.
  15. ^ "Casi la mitad de las máquinas contra el cáncer donadas por Amancio Ortega están paralizadas". 20 Minutos (in Spanish). 25 May 2019. Archived from the original on 2 June 2019. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
  16. ^ A.M. (21 May 2019). "Podemos critica las donaciones de Amancio Ortega a la sanidad pública". ABC (in Spanish). Vocento. Archived from the original on 25 May 2019. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  17. ^ "Amancio Ortega é o novo dono da sede da Amazon em Seattle". IMC Business. 4 November 2019. Archived from the original on 29 January 2020. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  18. ^ Dombey, Daniel (12 March 2020). "Inditex founder has a multibillion-euro property bet". Financial Times. Retrieved 4 December 2020.
  19. ^ "Zara Founder Unveils $17.2 Billion Global Real Estate Empire". Bloomberg.com. 7 July 2020. Retrieved 4 December 2020.
  20. ^ Romei, Valentina (31 December 2020). "How the pandemic is worsening inequality". Financial Times. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  21. ^ Adriana Sanjulián (6 April 2021). "Amancio Ortega sale del top 10 de ricos pero aumenta su fortuna en 2020". forbes.es.
  22. ^ "Amancio Ortega patrimonio: ¿cómo de rico es el fundador de Zara?". emergesocial.net (in Spanish). 18 April 2023.
  23. ^ Rosique, Carmen (25 de agosto de 2012), «Los dueños de las empresas del Ibex.»
  24. ^ Grupo Inditex
  25. ^ "=Amancio Ortega compra un 12% del operador de la red eléctrica portuguesa (REN) y se convierte en su segundo mayor accionista". elmundo.es. 30 July 2021.
  26. ^ "The management style of Amancio Ortega". The Economist. The Economist Newspaper Limited. 17 December 2016. Archived from the original on 23 June 2019. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
  27. ^ Dowsett, Sonya. "Exclusive: Zara owner Ortega shields Inditex stake to maintain..." U.S. Archived from the original on 17 August 2018. Retrieved 17 August 2018.
  28. ^ "Amancio Ortega | His Crazy $80,000,000 DRIZZLE Yacht | VALORIA B | SuperYachtFan". Archived from the original on 16 January 2020. Retrieved 15 July 2020.
  29. ^ "Amancio Ortega, Loves to Take Drizzle Megayacht Down the Adriatic - the Market Herald". 6 January 2020. Archived from the original on 30 March 2020. Retrieved 15 July 2020.

External links[edit]

Business positions
New title President of Inditex
Succeeded by