Marta Ortega Pérez, the youngest daughter of Amancio Ortega, will be the president of the Inditex group starting this Friday, as the company announced four months ago. With this change, the company culminates the generational change at the top of the textile empire that her father presided over until 2011 —when he gave 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’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 communicated to 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 any other variable remuneration.
The arrival of Marta Ortega Pérez, 38, increases the scarce presence of women presidents in the selective Ibex club, although her appointment becomes effective just when Iberdrola has just snatched Inditex (owner of brands such as Zara, Massimo Dutti, Bershka and Oysho) the first place by capitalization in the index of the largest Spanish values, although by very little difference. The capitalization of the electric company has reached 64,362 million euros this Thursday, compared to 63,704 million of Inditex, after falling its titles by 5% on the day, to 19.78 euros.
Stock Market Penalty
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 the war on February 24, it has 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 operating result (Ebit), respectively.
Another challenge is to advance in the transformation towards a model with a greater weight of internet 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.
He knows in depth all the sides of the coin.
Marta Ortega was born in Vigo on January 10, 1984. Before graduating in business studies at the European Business School in London in 2007, she studied at the Jesuits in A Coruña and completed her 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 during the presentation of the annual results in mid-March that she knows the company thoroughly. In recent years, her work has focused 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. He has a clause in his contract that prevents him from working for the competition for two years. And he has not said what his plans are, but what he has made clear is that he does not intend to retire.