Amancio Ortega, the wealthiest man in Spain and perhaps one of the world's most reclusive moguls, has tiptoed into the spotlight this week by announcing his imminent retirement from the fast-fashion giant Inditex, parent company of the Zara chain, which he founded with a single store in La Coruna 35 years ago.
There were no photo opportunities, no dramatic goodbyes or self-celebratory pomp. The 74-year-old billionaire – who shuns interviews, rarely appears in public and once even dodged a meeting with the Spanish crown prince – simply sent a brief note to his 98,000 employees stating that he would soon ask Inditex vice-president and CEO Pablo Isla to take his place at the helm of the textile empire that brought affordable catwalk copies to the style-craving masses.
"Dear friends," he began. "Now is the moment, with great hope and responsibility, to propose that Pablo Isla be named executive president at the next board meeting." He also praised the "combination of youth and experience" of his successor. During Mr Isla's five-year tenure, the 47-year-old brought Zara and other Inditex brands to fashionistas throughout Asia and recently launched an online shopping site, Zara.com.
Marta Ortega has been slowly working her way to the top of the company her father built and is expected to be the next in charge of the Inditex empire.
Well, let's all hope they keep up the good work...