Eighty-year old European businessman Amancio Oretga, founder of clothing chain Zara, has surpassed Microsoft’s boss Bill Gates to be the richest man in the world.
Ortega’s net worth is reported to have increased by up to $78 billion, overtaking Bill Gates’ estimated net worth of $77.4 billion, according to Forbes’ World Billionaires List.
The self-made billionaire, born as the son of a railway worker in a small town in Spain, started the clothes manufacturing company with his ex-wife Rosalia Mera in the year 1975.
Within a decade, Ortega’s business expanded throughout Spain. He then expanded his empire outside Europe with his first store opening in USA in 1989. His business empire, as of today, includes Zara, Massimo Dutti and Pull&Bear. Today, Zara has 6,200 stores spread across 70 different countries.
The businessman is known among co-workers for his humble behaviour and modest lifestyle. He is known to have food in the canteen with his employees; he continues to drink coffee from the same shop he drank for years; he even continues to wear the same blazer/shirt combo, which are not designed by Zara.
The Spanish businessman does not like to be amid the public eye, and mostly stays away from media limelight. He made his first public appearance in the year 2001, before which not many had seen the businessman.
Ortega was decorated with “Grand Cross of the Order of Civil Merit” in the year 2009.