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Watch: Spain’s richest man reduced to tears thanks to surprise birthday party

Inditex founder Amancio Ortega applauded by staff at company headquarters

Amancio Ortega.  Amancio Ortega celebrating his 80th birthday at Inditex.

Spain’s richest man, Amancio Ortega, founder of the Inditex empire that includes global fashion retailer Zara, celebrated his 80th birthday on March 28. To celebrate the occasion, a surprise party was organized at the headquarters of the company, in Arteixo, close to A Coruña, in Galicia.

Ortega’s daughter, Marta Ortega, led her father, who was visibly moved by the surprise, on a tour of the Arteixo plant, where hundreds of workers turned out to applaud the man who created the world’s largest fashion company. A “flashmob” had also been prepared, along with a dance attended by hundreds of employees from every department, factory and shops from around the world.

Ortega opened his first shop in A Coruña, in the early 1970s, from where he began selling housecoats

Born in the small community of Busdongo de Arbas in the northern region of León just months before the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, Ortega opened his first shop in A Coruña, in the early 1970s, from where he began selling housecoats. Since then, Inditex has grown to be the largest textile company in the world and Ortega one of the planet’s highest net-worth individuals. The company employs 152,854 people and runs 7,000 stores in 88 countries.

Ortega stood down as CEO in 2012, leaving the day-to-day running of the company in the hands of Pablo Isla, who has been with the company since 2005. Nevertheless, Ortega retains close links to Inditex.

English version by Nick Lyne.

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