Despite the care and discretion of the house of Inditex, the appointment of Marta Ortega as new president Since 2022 it has caused a lot of noise inside and outside the textile giant. It is the most anticipated generational change in Spain of the year in the family business, given that it is one of the most illustrious firms due to its size and history. The company appears on this podium together with Mercadona and The English Court, with whom he now also shares the execution of the succession plan to pass the baton on to the next generation. The common denominator in all of them has been the outcome, in which women have been the protagonists for moving to the front line.
The decision that still resonates in the business world he doesn’t even have 24 hours. At just 37 years old, the youngest daughter of Amancio Ortega will take the reins of the most valuable company on the Spanish stock market, taking over from Pablo Isla. The roadmap has been sped up and the market has not yet understood it well due to the high weight and prestige of the outgoing president, recently recognized for his work by different entities (Harvard Business Review and Forbes) and have weathered the coronavirus crisis. Not only does Isla leave the front line, so does her CEO, Carlos Crespo, who did not enjoy the trust of the Ortega family, ultimately Inditex’s top shareholders, and has only been in office for two years. The new president of the company will not serve until next April and he will surround himself with his closest friends.
The commitment to place Marta Ortega in the first line of the textile group returns the power over the operational control of the company to the founding family, after Amancio Ortega retired in 2011 from the front line at 74 years of age. The founder has focused in recent years on other strategic activities for his estate, such as his investments. family office Pontegadea in sectors like energy, real estate or telecommunications. However, those closest to him always remember that he has not abandoned his routine of visiting the Arteixo facilities, where the company has its headquarters.
The generational change in Inditex is the most important milestone in the Spanish family business in 2021. The previous one occurred in the next most relevant chain in the country by business volume, El Corte Inglés. In the department store chain, it was Marta Ávarez who took command in 2019. The adoptive daughter of Isidoro Alvarez after the marriage of this with Maria Jose Guil He not only held the presidency of the company, but also of the foundation Ramon Areces, founder of the group.
Although both Martha have been consecrated in the first line of the companies, the succession processes have been different. Ortega’s path has been paved with clear messages to investors, such as the notice in the form of an interview in the Wall Street Journal. “It is something we have been working on for a long time in a very discreet way,” Isla himself reiterated on Tuesday in this regard. On the contrary, in the chain of department stores the relief was much more rugged. Álvarez had to ally himself with Nuño de la Rosa, then CEO of El Corte Inglés, and the rest of the board of directors to remove from the presidency Dimás Gimeno, his cousin, with whom he engaged in an arduous legal battle. At 54, the executive became the first woman to hold the presidency in the 79-year history of El Corte Inglés.
The looks at Mercadona
If Inditex and El Corte Inglés have already completed their succession process, Mercadona, the first company in the top 3 of family businesses in Spain, has only opened the debate. At 72 years old, Juan Roig, founder and head of the first supermarket chain in the country, has been forced to comment on who will be his replacement. “I know who is going to replace me, but he or she doesn’t know”he told reporters questions for the last time this year. However, he wanted to move the process away in time: “The day I am not well we will designate the person and he will have the same power as me; and if he does it well”, he stated. At the moment, “I am physically and mentally very well,” he added.
Although Roig has not wanted to give a name, very few options are being considered in the company. One of them is Juana Roig (36 years old), the youngest of the four daughters that the owner of Mercadona has with Hortensia Herrero. Graduated in Business Administration and Management from ESADE, the youngest of the family has won integers in the pools after taking responsibility for the online promotion of the supermarket chain, one of the pending subjects for years.
The other possible candidacy would be presented by another of his daughters, Carolina, who works in the marketing area of the supermarket company and is also the secretary of the board of directors. His other two daughters, Hortensia and Amparo, are further away from the company. The first is focused on the EDEM business school, also promoted by Roig himself, while Amparo is focused on his architecture studio, ERRE, at the same time that she is a director of several patrimonial companies of the saga.
Source: LA INFORMACIÓN – Lo último by www.lainformacion.com.
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