Marta Ortega: Zara heiress’ staggering $1.48m annual salary revealed

She’ll become the most powerful woman in fashion within hours – and the promotion comes with a huge payday.

Marta Ortega will become one of the most powerful names in the fashion industry when she officially takes on one of the most coveted jobs in the world.

The glamorous 38-year-old daughter of Amancio Ortega – who founded Inditex, the parent company of fashion juggernaut Zara, as well as brands Massimo Dutti, Pull & Bear, Bershka and Stradivarius in 1975 – will take over as 88 € billion company’s next president on Friday.

And the major promotion also comes with a huge salary package, with the mother-of-two set to pocket a million euros (A$1.48 million) a year.

But as the youngest child of Mr Ortega, 85 – who is Spain’s richest man with a net worth of $78.9billion – the blonde socialite is unlikely to be short of money. ‘money.

In a recent interview with AFP, Alfred Vernis, a former Inditex executive and professor at Spain’s ESADE business school, said Ms Ortega was “well prepared” for the top job and was “well surrounded”. in the business.

“She has made many connections to the fashion world,” Mr. Vernis said of his career to date, and added that while Inditex CEO Oscar Garcia Maceiras “will be the one to take the executive decisions”, Ms Ortega “will have to play a role”.

However, investors were less certain of Ms Ortega’s insight last November when news of her upcoming appointment first broke.

Bloodbath on the share price

Inditex lost billions of its market value late last year when the company appointed Ms Ortega as successor to Pablo Isla, who took over as chairman in 2011 after Amancio Ortega retired.

At the time, the move was described as part of the business’ “generational handover process”, with Ms Ortega saying in a statement that she had “lived and breathed” the family business all her life.

“I have always said that I will dedicate my life to building on my parents’ legacy, looking to the future but learning from the past and serving the company, our shareholders and our customers,” Ms. Ortega said. at the end of last year.

“I’ve lived and breathed this business since I was a kid, and learned from all the great professionals I’ve worked with over the past 15 years.”

But that did little to allay fears over Inditex’s future, with shares falling as much as 6% following the announcement, representing a capital loss of billions of dollars and wiping out 3 billions of dollars of Mr. Ortega’s wealth.

It also drew a flurry of criticism from a range of pundits, who claimed it was bad news for the conglomerate, which is the biggest fashion retailer on the planet with more than 6,500 stores scattered around. worldwide.

However, those worries may be unfounded, with an interview with The Wall Street Journal last August describing Ms Ortega as the brand’s secret weapon and revealing her ambitious plans for Zara’s future.

It also cast her as almost single-handedly responsible for the unicorn-like Zara’s ability to mix high fashion with affordability.

But since then, the global economy has been battered following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which saw Inditex close more than 500 Russian stores and cut off access to online sales for Russian consumers.

Inditex has joined the massive corporate exodus from Russia, saying in a statement earlier this month that: “Under the current circumstances, Inditex cannot guarantee the continuity of operations and business conditions in the Russian Federation and is temporarily suspending its activity”.

According to Reuters, Russia accounted for around 8.5% of the company’s total profit before interest and tax, and the exit could cause the company difficulties just as Ms Ortega takes the reins.

Who is Marta Ortega?

Marta Ortega Perez is Amancio Ortega’s third child, and his only with his second wife, Flora Pérez.

The 85-year-old also has a daughter, Sandra, and a son, Marcos, from his first marriage to the late Rosalía Mera, although neither is involved in the business.

Educated at a Swiss boarding school where she excelled in horse riding, a passion she took on as an adult, Ms Ortega Perez also discovered her love for fashion when she attended a Zara shoot with the supermodel Kate Moss as a teenager.

She went on to study business management in London, graduating from the European Business School in 2007, and her first role was a lowly saleswoman at Bershka on Kings Road, London – a former favorite haunt of Kate Middleton.

She is regularly present in the front row of fashion shows, rubbing shoulders with fashion icons such as Anna Wintour and Diane von Furstenberg.

In 2018, she married her second husband, Carlos Torretta, who works in the public relations department of Inditex, in a lavish ceremony that made the rounds on the social pages of European glossy magazines.

Ms Ortega has a son with ex-husband Sergio Álvarez Moya, and she welcomed daughter Matilda, her first child with Mr Torretta, in 2020.

Edward K. Thompson