Zara owner Inditex completes ‘generational’ management overhaul

Retailer appoints founder’s daughter as chairwoman and names new chief executive

Shoppers queue outside Zara in Dublin on Black Friday. Photograph: Alan Betson

Shoppers queue outside Zara in Dublin on Black Friday. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

Zara owner Inditex has appointed a new chairwoman and chief executive, as the Spain-based retailer completes a “generational handover process” that it began a decade ago.

Shares in the group slid more than 4 per cent in early Madrid trading on Tuesday, trimming the year’s gains to 9.5 per cent.

The board approved as chairwoman, Marta Ortega Pérez, the daughter of the fashion retailer’s founder and majority shareholder Amancio Ortega, Spain’s richest man. Her appointment is effective from April 1st.

Appointments

Óscar García Maceiras, general counsel and secretary of the Inditex board, will take over from Carlos Crespo as chief executive immediately. Mr Crespo, at the helm since July 2019, will become chief operating officer.

The appointments complete a process that began in 2011 when Mr Ortega was replaced as chairman and, the group said on Tuesday, would be up for approval at the group’s next annual meeting.

“We believe that the time has come to turn a new page,” said Pablo Isla, who will continue as executive chairman until March 31st. He became deputy chairman and chief executive in 2005 and executive chairman in 2011.

“Making this transition a reality is the culmination of my commitment to Inditex and to Amancio Ortega.” 

The appointment of García Maceiras “was already foreseen since his incorporation into the company due to his abilities and qualities”, added Mr Isla.

The organisational structure incorporates a management committee, made up of long-standing executives from the group.

Sales

Inditex has opened or expanded its Zara stores this year and plans others, which will add to the retailer’s tally, including its Massimo Dutti, Pull&Bear and Stradivarius brands, of more than 6,600 outlets worldwide.

The world’s biggest clothing retailer has rebounded from the pandemic, saying in September that nearly all its stores were open, as the group reported buoyant sales and profits between May and July. Sales surpassed its 2019 records, with nearly €7 billion in the three-month period, pushed up by an expansion of online sales.

Sales in local currencies between August 1st and September 9th were 22 per cent higher than the corresponding period in 2020 and 9 per cent higher than the equivalent period in 2019, it said in an update in September. – Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2021.