Co-founder, former chairman and CEO, Inditex
Born: March 28, 1936, Busdongo de Arbás, Spain
Education: Left high school at 14
Amancio Ortega is a famously publicity-shy and unostentatious workaholic. He is rarely photographed or interviewed, eats in his company's canteen and reportedly went 25 years without taking a vacation. He dresses for work in the uniform of a prosperous southern European local businessman: gray slacks and an open-neck shirt.
His company, Inditex, is hardly known outside its industry, even though it is the biggest fashion group on earth. It has annual sales in excess of $19 billion—and margins to die for in the cutthroat retail apparel world. The 6,200 sleek stores of its flagship Zara chain are familiar sights in malls and upscale shopping streets on six continents.