In the new role, Carlos Crespo will be responsible for technology, logistics, procurement and sustainability.

(Bloomberg)—Zara owner Inditex SA, No. 26 in the Internet Retailer 2019 Top 1000, is promoting Carlos Crespo to CEO, naming an insider to spearhead the fast-fashion giant’s push into ecommerce.

Crespo, who is currently chief operating officer of the world’s largest apparel retailer, will report to executive chairman Pablo Isla, who’s yielding the CEO position. In the new role, Crespo will be responsible for technology, logistics, procurement and sustainability, the Spanish company said in a statement Thursday.

The appointment comes at a time when fashion chains are wrestling with the growth of online shopping, with Inc. (No. 1), Zalando SE and other companies grabbing market share. Inditex, which also owns the Massimo Dutti and Bershka chains, has been a leader in ecommerce among bricks-and-mortar chains but has faced questions about the durability of its growth in recent months.

Inditex shares fell in March after the company reported the weakest earnings growth in five years, showing it’s not immune to a retail malaise that has burdened rival Hennes & Mauritz AB (No. 29). The company is known for its lightning-quick product turnarounds, bringing new designs from the drawing board to store shelves in just a few weeks.


The Spanish company has placed increasing bets on online sales and aims to expand the capability to all global markets by next year. Ecommerce revenue rose 27% to 3.2 billion euros ($3.6 billion) last year.

Isla took over as chairman in 2011 when founder Amancio Ortega stepped back. The promotion marks the first time since then that Inditex is splitting the positions of chairman and CEO.

The appointment is subject to approval by shareholders at the annual general meeting in July. The company said it will also expand the size of the board to 11 from nine by including Crespo and a new independent director who has yet to be named.