Amancio Ortega, founder of Zara, has become the richest man in the world.


Ortega on Wednesday leapfrogged Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, to assume the title, according to Forbes.

The personal fortune of the shrewd Spaniard was boosted by $1.7 billion as shares of Inditex, parent company to Zara, Massimo Dutti and Pull&Bear, rose by 2.5%.

Following the spike, Ortega’s net worth rose from $77.8 billion to $79.5 billion while Gates is worth an estimated $78.5 billion.


Alongside Rosalia Mera, his former wife, Ortega started his own business in 1974 with less than $100, making lingerie, pajamas and nightgowns in their living room.

Ortega took the business public in 2001 and entered the Forbes billionaires list the same year, with a net worth of $6.6 billion.

At the time, Gates was already the richest man in the world, with a fortune of $58.7 billion.


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