Amancio Ortega Gaona popularly known as Amancio Gaona is a famous Spanish business guru, entrepreneur, investor, and a philanthropist, who currently serves as the chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Zara clothing and accessories retail shops. According to Forbes, he is worth over $69.8 B .
Amancio Ortega is one of the richest men in Europe and the wealthiest retailer in the world. A pioneer in fast fashion, he cofounded Inditex, known for its Zara fashion chain, with his ex-wife Rosalia Mera (d. 2013) in 1975.
He owns about 60% of Madrid-listed Inditex, which has 8 brands, including Massimo Dutti and Pull & Bear, and 7,500 stores around the world. Ortega typically earns more than $400 million in dividends a year. He has invested his dividends primarily into real estate in Madrid, Barcelona, London, Chicago, Miami and New York.
He was born on 28th March 1936 in Busdongo de Arbás, Leon in Spain. He is currently 82 years old. Amancio Ortega is the youngest child in a family of four children. His father’s name is Antonio Ortega Rodríguez while his mother’s name is Josefa Gaona Hernández. His parents are from the province of Valladolid, while he spent his childhood in León in Spain.
At the age of 14 years old, he left school and moved to A Coruna, due to the job of his father, a railway worker. Shortly after that, he found a job as a shop hand for a local shirt-maker called Gala, which still sits on the same corner in downtown A Coruna, and learned to make clothes by hand.
READ ALSO:Jeff Bezos Biography and Net Worth
In 1972, Amancio Ortega founded “Confecciones Goa” to sell quilted bathrobes. In 1975, he opened his first Zara store with his wife Rosalía Mera. As of today, Zara is part of the Zinditex group, of which he owns 59.29% shares 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.
As of March 2018, Amancio Ortega had a net worth of $68.4 billion, making him the second wealthiest person in Europe after Bernard Arnault and the sixth wealthiest man in the world. He is also the wealthiest retailer in the world.
Amancio 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.
In 2000, his public appearance 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 granted interviews to only three journalists in Spain.
In 2011, Amancio 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.
In 2012, Amancio Ortega donated about €20 million to Caritas Internationalis, a Roman Catholic relief organization.
In 1966, Amancio Ortega got married to Rosalia Mera and divorced her in 1986. The marriage with Rosalia Mera was blessed with a daughter named Sandra Ortega Mera before their annulment.
In 2001, Amancio Ortega got married again to Flora Perez Marcote and the marriage is blessed with two children.
Amancio Ortega is currently the sixth richest and most influential man in the world with an estimated net worth of $68.4 billion.