Ortega, 81, founder of Zara parent Inditex S.A. and Europe’s wealthiest person, is US $2.2 billion behind the Microsoft Corp. Co-founder with a net worth of US $83.3 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos, 53, who held the top spot briefly last month, is ranked No 3 with US $82 billion.
According to a Forbes report: Ortega has held the top position three other times, but he has always relinquished the lead within a day. Most recently, he surpassed Gates on Tuesday, after shares of Inditex—the parent company to fashion chain Zara—rose just over 1 per cent. But by the end of the afternoon he was US $100 million behind the Microsoft co-founder.
Then, on Wednesday, Ortega regained the top spot. As of 12:05 pm Eastern Time, he was richer than Gates by a modest margin of US $200 million.
Ortega’s fortune has risen 117 per cent since the 2012 debut of the Bloomberg index, compared with a 36 per cent rise for Gates. Bezos’s net worth has risen 353 per cent.