Amancio Ortega Gaona (Spanish pronunciation: [aˈmanθjo orˈteɣa ɣaˈona]; born 28 March 1936) is a Spanish fashion businessman and founding chairman of the Inditex fashion group, best known for its chain of Zara clothing and accessories retail shops. In October 2015, he was ranked as the richest person in the world for four hours by Forbes, just ahead ofAmerican billionaire Bill Gates, with a net worth of USD $78.6 billion. He resides with his second wife in an apartment building in Galicia, Spain.
The youngest of four children, Ortega was born in Busdongo de Arbás, León, Spain, and spent his childhood in León. He left school and moved to La 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 learnt to make clothes by hand,In 1972, he founded Confecciones Goa (his initials in reverse), selling quilted bathrobes which Ortega produced using thousands of local women organised into sewing cooperatives. In 1975, he opened his first Zarastore, so called because his preferred name Zorba was already taken. He opened many big Zara Stores during the eighties throughout Galicia.
Today, Zara is part of the Inditex group (Industrias de Diseño Textil Sociedad Anónima), of which Ortega owns 59.29%, 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.
Ortega keeps a very low profile and, until 1999, no photograph of Ortega had ever been published and is known for his preference for a simple lifestyle. He refuses to wear a tie and typically wears a simple uniform of a blue blazer, white shirt, and gray pants, none of which are Zara products. He is also said to take a very active part in the production and design process in the company.
When he made a public appearance in 2000 as part of the warm-up prior to his company’s initial public offering on the stock market in 2001, it made headlines in the Spanish financial press. However, he has only granted interviews to three journalists ever and his secrecy has led to the publication of books, such as Amancio Ortega: de cero a Zara (From Zero to Zara).
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 at the helm of the textile empire.
He maintained his #3 spot on the Forbes list from 2013, but increased his net worth $7 billion for a total of $64 billion.
Amacio Ortega spends huge amounts of his wealth to protect his privacy, he is known to travel incognito around the world.
Most of the media pictures are presented through the official news corporation of Zara.Not many are released to protect his movements
Sun 25 Oct 2015
According to Forbes’ real-time tracker, the elusive multibillionaire founder of European clothing retailer Zara just smashed past Bill Gates to become the wealthiest person on the planet, with a fortune of $79.8 billion (€71.83 billion or £51.84 billion).