Zara Owner Gives Founder’s Daughter Reins in Generational Shift

Spanish fashion retailer giant Inditex said on Tuesday Marta Ortega, the daughter of its founder, will replace Pablo Isla, who successfully led the company for a decade.

Ortega will take over as chairwoman of the group in April with a new chief executive, as a last step of a generational handover that started a decade ago, the company said.

Shares in Spain’s largest listed company fell as much as 5.3 percent on the news.

Isla took over from her father Amancio Ortega, Spain’s wealthiest man, in 2011 as chairman. Isla had been deputy chairman since 2005, the company said.

Oscar Garcia Maceiras, who had become the company’s general counsel and secretary of the board in March, will support Marta Ortega as CEO, replacing Carlos Crespo, who took the post two years ago.

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Brokerage Kepler said the reshuffle was “moderately negative,” highlighting that Isla, who had worked alongside Inditex’s founder, was responsible for Inditex’s big international expansion over the past 17 years.

“We believe that the timing is not the best … as we believe that both Marta Ortega and the CEO Oscar Maceiras have a lot to prove when it comes to their ability to run this big monster in the middle of the Covid crisis,” Kepler said.

Crespo will remain chief operating officer.

Marta Ortega, 37, has been working for the company in different areas for the last 15 years.

“I have always said that I would dedicate my life to building upon my parents’ legacy, looking to the future but learning from the past and serving the company, our shareholders and our customers,” she said in a statement.

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Amancio Ortega still owns 59.29 percent of Inditex, while Sandra Ortega, a daughter from his first marriage, is the second largest shareholder with a 5.05 percent, Refinitiv data showed.

By Inti Landauro and Jesús Aguado; additional reporting by Corina Pons; editors: Jason Neely and Edmund Blair.



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