THE Chairman of El Corte Inglés, Isidoro Álvarez, has died in a Madrid hospital following a respiratory disease.
Álvarez, who was 79-years-old, dedicated his life to the Spanish department store which for decades has been synonymous with quality.
Álvarez graduated from the Universidad Complutense in 1957 in Economics and Business and in 1959 was named as an advisor to the textile company Induyco, owned by El Corte Inglés. In 1989 Álvarez was appointed Chairman of El Corte Inglés after the death of Ramón Areces.
Álvarez’s last public appearance was on August 31 when he announced El Corte Inglés’ first increase in profits since the economic crisis. In 2013 the department store took in €174.3 million, a 6.2 per cent growth on the previous year.
Álvarez had been in the Puerta del Hierro Majadahonda hospital since September 10 with respiratory problems. Although he initially showed signs of improvement, he was not able to overcome the illness.
Álvarez’s death comes as a second blow to Spain’s business world in less than a week. On Wednesday September 10 – the day that Álvarez was admitted to hospital – Emilio Botín, Chariman of the Santander banking group died of a heart attack, also aged 79.
Emilio Botín’s daughter Ana has been appointed successor as head of the banking giant.
There has still been no decision as to who will be taking over Isidoro Álvarez’s role at El Corte Inglés, however many experts tip his nephew, Dimas Gimeno Álvarez as the person most likely to take the helm.