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 December 2019, Ortega had a net worth of $68.3 billion, making him the second-wealthiest person in Europe after Bernard Arnault, and the sixth-wealthiest in the world.[2] For a brief period of time in 2015, he was the richest man in the world, bypassing Bill Gates when his net worth peaked to $80 billion as Zara's parent company, Inditex’s, stock peaked.[3]

Amancio Ortega
Amancio Ortega Portrait Painting Collage By Danor Shtruzman.jpg
Amancio Ortega portrait
Amancio Ortega Gaona

(1936-03-28) 28 March 1936 (age 83)
Busdongo de Arbás, Castile and León, Spain
OccupationBusiness magnate
Known forCo-founder of Inditex Group
Net worthUS$68.3 billion (December 2019)[1]
Board member of
  • Rosalía Mera
    (m. 1966; div. 1986)
  • Flora Pérez Marcote (m. 2001)
Children3 (including Sandra Ortega Mera)
Amancio Ortega Gaona signature.png

He is the head of the Ortega family and the second wealthiest retailer in the world.[1][4]

Early life and educationEdit

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.[5]

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.[6]


In 1972, he founded Confecciones Goa to sell quilted bathrobes.[citation needed]

In 1975, he opened his first Zara store with his wife Rosalía Mera.[7]

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.[8]

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.[9]

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 relief organisation.[10]

He purchased the Torre Picasso skyscraper in Madrid. He also purchased the Epic Residences and Hotel in Miami, Florida.[11]

As of 2016, he owned around 60% of Inditex, which is the holding company for Zara and related chains.[12]

In July 2017, for its second edition of the AEF awards, the Spanish Association of Foundations awarded Amancio Ortega in the 2017 Philanthropic Initiative category.[13] He also donated 300 million euros to fight cancer across Spain, which were invested in the purchase of 440 machines to detect the disease. As a result of this, the number of Spanish public hospitals equipped with stereotactic radiotherapy machines has risen from 20 to 70.[14] However, these decisions were not unanimously welcomed and were criticized by some political parties like Podemos.[15] Recently, news indicate that he has bought the Troy Block complex, known to the public as one of the buildings where Amazon Seattle has its headquarters.[16]

Personal lifeEdit

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.[17] As of 2017, he lived with his wife in A Coruña, Spain.[11]

Ortega keeps a very low profile and is known for his preference for a simple lifestyle.[12] 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.[9]

See alsoEdit


  • Blanco, Xabier; Salgado, Jesús (2004). Amancio Ortega, de cero a Zara: El primer libro de investigación sobre el imperio Inditex. Esfera de los Libros. p. 271. ISBN 978-8-497-34167-7.


  1. ^ a b "Amancio Ortega". Forbes. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  2. ^ "Amancio Ortega". Forbes. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  3. ^ Warren, Katie. "Meet Amancio Ortega, the fiercely private Zara founder who's worth $62 billion and owns properties in Madrid, London, and New York City". Business Insider. Retrieved 22 October 2019.
  4. ^ "The World's Billionaires". Forbes. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  5. ^ Martínez, David (25 October 2012). Zara: Visión y estrategia de Amancio Ortega. Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial España. p. 10. ISBN 9788415431473.
  6. ^ Walt, Vivienne (8 January 2013). "Meet Amancio Ortega: The third-richest man in the world". Cable News Network. Time Warner Company. Archived from the original on 18 February 2013. Retrieved 20 February 2013.
  7. ^ Dennys, Harriet (16 August 2013). "Zara founder Rosalia Mera's fast-fashion legacy to the British high street". Daily Telegraph. London: Telegraph Media Group Limited. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
  8. ^ "Inditex Group Annual Report 2009" (PDF). Inditex Group. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 June 2012. Retrieved 26 May 2014.
  9. ^ a b Lutz, Ashley. "Meet The Secretive Spanish Billionaire Whose Net Worth Rose The Most In 2012". Business Insider. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
  10. ^ "Amancio Ortega Foundation donates 20 million euros to charity". 25 October 2012. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
  11. ^ a b "Meet the reclusive Spanish billionaire who just beat out Bill Gates to become the richest person in the world", Business Insider, Kate Taylor and Will Martin, August 30, 2017
  12. ^ a b "The management style of Amancio Ortega". The Economist. The Economist Newspaper Limited. 17 December 2016. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
  13. ^ "Amancio Ortega, Fundación Accenture y Fundación Recover, premiados por su labor filantrópica". ABC (in Spanish). Vocento. 17 July 2017. Retrieved 17 July 2017.
  14. ^ "Casi la mitad de las máquinas contra el cáncer donadas por Amancio Ortega están paralizadas". 20 Minutos (in Spanish). 25 May 2019. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
  15. ^ A.M. (21 May 2019). "Podemos critica las donaciones de Amancio Ortega a la sanidad pública". ABC (in Spanish). Vocento. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  16. ^ "Amancio Ortega é o novo dono da sede da Amazon em Seattle". IMC Business. 4 November 2019. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  17. ^ Dowsett, Sonya. "Exclusive: Zara owner Ortega shields Inditex stake to maintain..." U.S. Retrieved 17 August 2018.

External linksEdit

Business positions
New title President of Inditex
Succeeded by
Pablo Isla