Amancio Ortega, founder of Spanish fast-fashion group Inditex, which runs the Zara, Massimo Dutti, Bershka and Pull and Bear chains, is to step down from his role as chairman.

In a letter to all Inditex employees Ortega, who will remain on the Inditex board, proposed that current deputy chairman and chief executive officer Pablo Isla should be nominated as chairman at the next shareholders meeting in July.

In the letter he added: “I am sure that, with the same loyalty and commitment that we have worked with up to now, we will answer to the responsibility that the new chairman will assume, whom I propose from the serenity that I enjoy at this moment and with the confidence that it is the best for the future of the company.”

Ortega is Spain’s richest man and was ranked by Forbes as the ninth richest man in the world in 2010.