By Joshua Kirby
Now is the right time for a change of senior management at Industria de Diseno Textil SA, current boss Pablo Isla said, after the Spanish fashion group appointed its founder's daughter to take the helm as chairwoman next year.
Mr. Isla will resign his position as Inditex chairman effective March 31, and will be replaced by Marta Ortega Perez, a daughter of Amancio Ortega, who founded the company in Spain's northwestern Galicia region in 1963. Unlike Mr. Isla, who serves as executive chairman, Ms. Ortega will have a nonexecutive chairwoman role, and will also serve as proprietary director as a shareholder in the company.
Mr. Isla declined to specify whether he would continue in any official role within the group after the succession. "I am focused on carrying out the transition," he said in a conference call after the news. "After that, we will see," he said, adding that now was the optimal time for a change in leadership, but that the company's business model and values would continue as before.
Ms. Ortega has worked closely with the group's most important fashion brand, Zara, and will continue to oversee the brand's image and product offer, the company said in a release. Mr. Isla added that the incoming chairwoman knows the company very well, and has been very active within it. Ms. Ortega didn't participate in the call with reporters.
Mr. Isla said his successor will work closely with new Chief Executive Oscar Garcia Maceiras, a former group general secretary whose appointment as CEO is effective immediately. Mr. Garcia replaces Carlos Crespo Gonzalez, who becomes group chief operating officer, with a remit covering digital transformation and sustainability. Mr. Garcia said as the new CEO, he would continue to develop the business trends the group has worked on in recent years.
To help ensure a smooth transition, Inditex has also created a new management committee within the group structure. The committee will include Mr. Crespo and group finance chief Ignacio Fernandez Fernandez, as well as representatives from the group's major brands including Zara, Massimo Dutti and Pull & Bear.
The departure of the experienced Mr. Isla could nevertheless leave a temporary management void at the top of Inditex, analyst Cedric Rossi of Bryan Garnier said after the news. Mr. Isla, in place since 2011, has overseen a major expansion phase at the group and could leave a "great void" behind him, though the new management committee should boost the organization's structure and limit managerial risk ahead, Mr. Rossi said.
Shares in Inditex dropped Tuesday after the news. At 1248 GMT, shares were trading 5.9% lower at EUR27.93.
Write to Joshua Kirby at email@example.com; @joshualeokirby
(END) Dow Jones Newswires