It’s a true rags to riches story. Amancio Ortega, who transformed clothing group Inditex from a tiny dressmaker from the rainy northern region of Galicia into Spain’s biggest company, Zara, briefly took over Bill Gates late last week to become the world’s richest man.
At one point last Friday, Forbes put Ortega’s fortune at $79.9 billion, but unfortunately, his winning streak didn’t last for too long. Later in the day, a 10% surge in the share price of Microsoft put Bill Gates back on top.
Amancio Ortega holds a 59.3% stake in Zara, which is now considered the world’s biggest fashion retailer. A far cry from the brand’s humble beginnings, Zara now boasts more than 6,000 stores in some 90 countries, with a capitalization of 104 billion euros.
It all stems from the enigmatic Ortega, a completely self-made man who never gives interviews and is rarely photographed. Proof that nice guys don’t always finish last.