|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$68.2 billion (September 2018)|
|Board member of||Inditex (CEO) Daez (COO)|
|Children||3 (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 clothing and accessories shops. As of late September 2018, Ortega had a net worth of $68.2 billion, making him the second-wealthiest person in Europe after Bernard Arnault, and the fifth-wealthiest in the world.
Early life and education
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.
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.
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 as head. In 2012 Ortega donated about €20 million to Caritas Internationalis, a Roman Catholic relieforganisation.
Very private about his personal life, as of 2012 he had only given three interviews to journalists. He married Rosalia Mera in 1966, and divorced in 1986. Mera died in August 2013 at the age of 69. He married his second wife Flora in 2001. He has three children. As of 2017, he lived with his wife in La Coruna, Spain.
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.
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- Meet The Secretive Spanish Billionaire
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- Dowsett, Sonya. “Exclusive: Zara owner Ortega shields Inditex stake to maintain…” U.S. Retrieved 2018-08-17.