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Zara owner Inditex completes ‘generational’ management overhaul

Zara-owner Inditex has appointed the daughter of its founder as chair and named a new chief executive as it completes a “generational handover process” that it began a decade ago.

Shares in the world’s biggest clothing retailer slid more than 4 per cent in morning trading in Madrid after the announcement on Tuesday, trimming the year’s gains to 9.5 per cent.

The company said the board had approved as chair Marta Ortega Pérez, the daughter of Inditex’s founder and majority shareholder Amancio Ortega, Spain’s richest man. Her appointment is effective from April 1.

Oscar 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 started 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,” he said.

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 fashion 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. Revenues 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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