Billionaire founder of Zara to retire

Amancia Ortego, the billionaire founder of Spain-based Inditex Group, owner of clothing brand Zara, plans to retire as chairman of the company he started 25 years ago, leading to speculation that his daughter might be the eventual heir apparent.

He will be replaced by non-family member Pablo Isla, the current chief executive and chairman, but some insiders reckon that his youngest daughter, Marta Ortego Perez, will eventually take control of Inditex.  

Ortego Perez might be being groomed for the job. She started on the shop floor of Zara stores, working as a customer assistant. She has progressed to a junior executive within an Inditex group company.

Often featured in the society pages of Spanish newspapers, the glamorous 26-year old appeared on the list of the 20 most intriguing billionaire heiresses, published in 2007 by Forbes.

The first Zara store was opened in 1975 in downtown Spain, and 10 years later Amancia Ortego formed Inditex to act as the holding company for his businesses. In December 2010, Inditex opened its 5000th store and reported profits of $1.53 billion for the nine months ending October.

Ortego was estimated to have a fortune of $25 billion last year, making him the 9th richest man in the world, according to Forbes.

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