Pablo Isla keeps a low public profile, but that is not to say he has not been incredibly busy over the past 12 months. Inditex’s brands have continued to fly under his steady leadership, while many of its competitors have struggled with falling sales. The latest results for the business – which owns brands including Zara, Bershka, Stradivarius, Pull & Bear and Massimo Dutti – show revenue rose 11.5% for the six months to 31 July, reaching €11.7bn (£10.3bn), with growth across all markets and all brands. Like-for-like sales were up 6% year on year, while net profit was up 9% to €1.4bn (£1.2bn).
Proving the need for retailers to innovate if they want to enjoy growth, Isla oversaw the opening of Zara’s first global babywear store in London in August, the launch of Pull & Bear’s own beauty brand in September and Stradivarius’s first menswear collection on Oxford Street in January. And he is being well rewarded for his efforts in maintaining Inditex’s strong growth – in August, the company’s annual report revealed that he was paid €10.4m (£9.5m), including a €7m (£6.4m) bonus, last year.