Zara’s Ortega announces impending retirement

Amancio Ortega

Business Digest: Without fanfare, Amancio Ortega steps down in favour of number two Pablo Isla

LAST UPDATED AT 14:11 ON Fri 14 Jan 2011

The wealthiest man in Spain, Amancio Ortega, head of the Zara empire, has announced his impending retirement from Inditex, the fashion chain’s parent company.
 
Having run the company for 35 years, since opening a single shop in La Coruna, Ortega's announcement came without fanfare. Famously shy, he sent a brief memo to his 98,000 employees explaining that vice-president Pablo Isla would soon be taking over.
 
"Dear friends," he began. "Now is the moment, with great hope and responsibility, to propose that Pablo Isla be named executive president at the next board meeting."
 
Marketing professor Jose Luis Nueno, of IESE Business School in Barcelona, said: "The situation is optimal for stepping down, the company has shown its ability to drive under any conditions and Ortega is getting close to 75 but is in good health.
 
"It's the right time to tell the market that the company is in shape to put another person at the top. You don't want to make that decision if he is suddenly hit by illness or the company is doing poorly."
 
Read a full report at the Independent · 

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