Zara owner Inditex completes ‘generational’ management overhaul

Zara owner Inditex has appointed a new chair 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 chair 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 1.

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

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

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

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

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 €7bn in the three-month period, pushed up by an expansion of online sales.

Sales in local currencies between August 1 and September 9 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.

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