Oscar Garcia Maceiras has been named CEO, effective immediately, while Ortega’s daughter Marta Ortega Perez has been named chairwoman of the group, effective April 1. The company said she will serve as a proprietary director, which means she will be acting in representation of her ownership interest.
Shares in Inditex declined following the announcement, closing down more than 6 percent at 27.86 euros.
Until now, Maceiras had been general counsel of Inditex and secretary of the board. Like Isla, Maceiras comes from a legal and financial background.
The company pointed to his “extensive experience in corporate and team management,” and said he led transformation projects in his 20 years of professional activity. He has worked both in the public sector, as a Spanish state attorney, and in the private one, for companies such as Banco Pastor, Banco Popular, Sareb and Banco Santander.
Maceiras replaces Carlos Crespo, who had served as CEO since July 2019. Crespo will remain at Inditex, returning to his former role of chief operating officer, with a focus on sustainability, digital transformation, transport and supply chain, areas which the company described as “of the utmost importance” to its strategy.
Isla described Crespo as “a key figure in the company’s present and future.” He noted that Crespo became CEO in 2019 “at the request of the company,” implying that he’d kept the seat warm until Inditex could find a replacement.
Maceiras said he was eager to take up the CEO role and work with a team that was “full of youth, experience and talent in all the areas and countries in which we are present.”
Ortega Perez has spent 15 years at the company on the creative side, tapping talents including Steven Meisel, Fabien Baron, Karl Templer and Luca Guadagnino to collaborate on campaigns and special projects. She has also launched premium collections, including Zara Srpls and Charlotte Gainsbourg by Zara.
Later this week, Ortega Perez will open a major Peter Lindbergh retrospective, which she has organized in the company’s hometown of A Coruña, Spain. Ortega will continue to oversee Zara’s brand image and fashion proposition, the company said.
In the statement, the board thanked Isla for his “leadership and vision” during the 17 years at the head of the company.
Isla said “the time has come to turn a new page. Making this transition a reality is the culmination of my commitment to Inditex and to Amancio Ortega. I would also like to thank each and every one of the people who form part of Inditex for their work and dedication.”
Ortega Perez said the company is “enormously grateful” to Isla for his extraordinary work and dedication over the years.
“I would like to highlight his immense contribution, not only to our group, but also to the fashion industry in general. I have lived and breathed this company since my childhood, and I have learned from all the great professionals I have worked with over the last 15 years,” said Ortega Perez.
“I have always said that I would dedicate my life to building upon my parents’ legacy, looking to the future but learning from the past and serving the company, our shareholders and our customers where I’m most needed. I’m deeply honored by the trust that has been placed in me, and enormously excited about the future that we are all about to embark upon together.”
During a call following the announcement, Isla stressed that the management changes would in no way impact the way that Inditex does business.
He said the company “is going to stick with its model. We always describe our firm as a company in which there is one essential core. And that is our business model, the strong integration between design, manufacturing and logistics. Our responsiveness. Our corporate culture. The values that define us: an entrepreneurial spirit, teamwork, humbleness.
Isla added that “every aspect of our organization is inspired by Amancio Ortega. Our corporate values remain every bit as present as ever, and will stay with us always. We will continue to be defined by our hallmark traits.”
Maceiras added: “Our obligation is to move (the business model) forward, to give it depth, to fine-tune it as necessary. I believe that over the years the company has demonstrated that, when it was necessary, it has been able to adapt. Indeed it has often pioneered the field in terms of embracing changes, and not only in the retail sector. That is the way forward.”
Maceiras will be supported by a new steering committee comprised of a group of long-standing employees (most of them top Zara executives). Isla said the committee would be “a key body” to support the new CEO.
Isla also stressed during the call that Ortega Perez will remain “very involved with the product; she will continue to supervise Zara’s image and product proposition. In addition to that, she will carry out her duties as chairwoman of Inditex’s board.
The appointments will be presented for ratification at the next annual general meeting. The group will report its third-quarter results on Dec. 15.