MADRID.- Marta Ortega Pérez, youngest daughter of Amancio Ortega, is from Friday the president of the Inditex group, as the company announced four months ago. With this change, the company completes the generational change at the top of the textile empire that his father presided over until 2011 – when he handed over the position to Pablo Isla – and in which he still controls 59% of the capital. A decade later, an Ortega returns to occupy the president’s chair on the board of directors and does so at a difficult time, with the effects of the pandemic still present in countries such as China and the closure of stores in Russia and Ukraine due to the war.
Ortega sent a letter to his employees on Friday in which he asks for their support in the new stage that is beginning: “I ask for your support and patience as I continue to learn from everyone every day and that, with the same enthusiasm and demand as always, we keep alive the values of tolerance, respect and humility that have characterized us until now.” And he adds: “I was born and grew up at Inditex, and there was not a single moment in my still short career in which I have not felt overwhelmed by the involvement, professionalism, spirit of improvement and humanity of each one of you”.
Ortega’s position is not executive. The actual management tasks, from the operational to the financial areas, passing through the commercial ones, fall to the new CEO, Óscar García Maceiras, a 46-year-old from Coruña who had been secretary of the board for eight months. But the new president will have direct responsibility for specific areas that the company considers “critical”, as she informed the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV) two weeks ago. These are some corporate functions, such as the internal audit, general and board secretariat and communication areas. For this reason, she will have an annual salary of one million euros as president and director, without variable remuneration.
The arrival of Ortega, 38, increases the scarce presence of female presidents in the selective Ibex club, although his appointment becomes effective just when Iberdrola has just snatched Inditex (owner of brands such as Zara, Massimo Dutti, Bershka and Oysho) the first position by capitalization in the index of the largest Spanish values, although by very little difference. The capitalization of the electricity company reached 64,362 million euros on Thursday, compared to 63,704 million for Inditex, after its titles fell 5% on the day.
Doubts about the impact of the closure in Russia are penalizing the price, which has already started the year with a downward trend. Since the outbreak of war on February 24, lost almost 20%. The cessation of activity due to the armed conflict is one of the challenges facing the new team. Russia and Ukraine represent 8.5% of the group’s net result, respectively.
Another challenge is to advance in the transformation towards a model with a greater weight of online sales, which already represent 25% of turnover, but below other competitors, such as H&M (32%) or Mango (42%). After the pandemic hit, the company tripled its profit and approached pre-pandemic sales and profit levels in 2021. The last quarter of last year was affected by the omicron variant and lockdowns and lockdowns are likely to closures in China continue to affect results. But the company assures that the pace of sales picked up pace at the beginning of 2022.
Marta Ortega was born in Vigo on January 10, 1984. Before graduating in business studies at the European Business School in London in 2007, he studied at the Jesuits in A Coruña and completed his baccalaureate in Switzerland. She has been working in the family business for 15 years. Her premiere was at a Zara store on King’s Road, in the London neighborhood of Chelsea. Until now, she has never held a specific position in the group, but the outgoing president, Pablo Isla, said in mid-March that he knows the company thoroughly. Her work has focused in recent years on supervising the women’s fashion design department, where she works with the person in charge of the collection, Beatriz Padín, and on developing the brand image.
Isla arrived at Inditex in 2005, as CEO and Vice President. In 2011 he was appointed president of the group. © The Country