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Marta Ortega is the new executive president of Inditex

The daughter of Zara's founder is gonna lead the group along with the new CEO Oscar Garcia Maceira

Marta Ortega is the new executive president of Inditex The daughter of Zara's founder is gonna lead the group along with the new CEO Oscar Garcia Maceira

After a 2020 to forget, the fast-fashion sector has returned to the new year determined to gain the slice of the market lost between pandemics and closed stores. Among all there is the Inditex group, parent company of Zara, Bershka, Massimo Dutti, Pull & Bear and Stradivarius, ready to grow sharply in 2021 with revenues of about 12 billion in the first half of the year and with an increase in turnover by 49% compared to the previous year. Zara, which over time has become the leading player in the fast-fashion sector thanks to its cross-sectoral balance, skillful management and store design that recalls the settings of the best Céline boutiques, has distinguished itself for its ability to synthesize fashion low cost and the promise of a world of values ​​in stark contrast to that of its competitors (and to the real quality of the products offered). But a new major equity earthquake is about to challenge the precarious pandemic balance: with immediate effect, Oscar Garcia Maceira was appointed new CEO, replacing Carlos Crespo Gonzalez, who in turn becomes co. But the real news, which has left investors rather perplexed, is that the executive presidency in April will pass from Pablo Isla to the daughter of the founder Marta Ortega.

Marta Ortega, a 37-year-old entrepreneur who, despite being the daughter of the 13th richest man in the world according to the Forbes report, with assets of 76 billion dollars, started her career from the 'bottom', as a clerk in the store of London, up to climb the hierarchy of power and settle in the headquarters of Zara in Coruña, Galicia. Making Marta Ortega the new CEO was the last step towards the transition to a new generation started ten years ago, a process of renewal that is inevitable but which according to the most skeptical investors happens at the wrong time. "We think the changes are bad news for Inditex" - said Spanish investment firm Alantra - "we would have expected a more orderly and smoother transition period, with Isla overseeing in a non-executive role."

Under Isla, Inditex's share price increased eightfold and its market value skyrocketed to nearly € 93 billion ($ 106 billion), while the shares of its main rival H&M increased by about 50%. Most brokers said Ortega was his father's natural successor, but that he was taking the lead faster than expected, along with a young CEO with little retail experience. But other analysts said Inditex, which did well during the pandemic, is unlikely to see a shift in strategy under the changes and is relatively well positioned to handle global supply chain problems: "given the group's orderly transition process and long-term strategy, there is unlikely to be a substantial change in strategic direction" - wrote Deutsche Bank analyst Adam Cochrane. Meanwhile, the transfer of power gives hope for a more sustainable and sensitive approach to labor rights (as much as a fast-fashion a brand may be), Marta Ortega can lead Zara towards new horizons especially considering the need of the new generations, in the era of climate collapse, to make more ethical purchases.