The board of directors of El Corte Inglés will meet today in Madrid to elect the new president of the company after the death this Sunday of Isidoro Álvarez because of a heart condition, informed Europa Press in sources of the distribution group.
The death of Álvarez has left the highest governing body of the company composed of eight members: Dimas Gimeno Álvarez, general director of the group; Manuel Pizarro, assistant to the Presidency; Leopoldo del Nogal; Juan Hermoso; Florencio Lasaga; Carlos Martínez; Mancor portfolio (represented by Paloma García), and Corporación Ceslar (represented by Carlota Areces).
Pizarro, who was appointed deputy to the Presidency of El Corte Inglés last June, was the last to join the board, specifically at the meeting held on August 31, at the General Shareholders’ Meeting, in addition to the former dean of the Bar Association of Madrid, Antonio Hernández-Gil, who is the Secretary of the Board.
Although from El Corte Inglés there is a respectful silence on the change in the presidency until the decision of the board of directors is known, other business sources told Europa Press that, according to the chain’s trajectory, logic indicates that Dimas Gimeno , nephew of Isidoro Álvarez, is the person who gathers the attributes to be named the new strong man of the group.
Thus, Dimas Gimeno, 39, would be responsible for continuing the work of his uncle at the head of the distribution giant, whose most important challenge is to take the international leap. In 2013 Gimeno was appointed as the group’s general director, after 13 years linked to the company. Born in Madrid in 1975, he graduated in Law from the Universidad San Pablo CEU. He holds a Master’s Degree in Private Law from the same University and an MBA from IESE.
He began his professional career as a salesman of El Corte Inglés
an activity that he made compatible with his university studies. In the year 2000 he joined the Central Services of El Corte Inglés in Madrid. A year later, he moved to Portugal to collaborate in the start-up of the subsidiary and the first center of El Corte Inglés in the city of Lisbon.
As an assistant to the general director of the Portuguese subsidiary, he collaborated for five years in its consolidation and in the development of new centers. In 2006, the second center of El Corte Inglés opens in Portugal, in the city of Oporto, and takes over the management of it.
In 2008 he returns to Madrid to the Central Services. For a time he works in the operational areas most oriented to the activity of department stores; sales, purchases, logistics, marketing and Internet among others. Subsequently, he joined the Sales Department. In 2009, he was appointed member of the Board of Trustees of the Ramón Areces Foundation and in 2010 he was appointed advisor to El Corte Inglés. Dimas Gimeno is a specialist in the activity of department stores, with significant experience accumulated after having worked as a salesman, store manager and his subsequent step in all areas of business management.
In addition, he has participated and represented the company in international forums of the sector ‘retail’ and ‘Department Store’. To develop its work and face the new challenges on the horizon, the international expansion and the diversification of its business lines in an environment still marked by economic weakness and consumption, Dimas Gimeno will rely on its management team and in the advice from Manuel Pizarro.
Pizarro’s was a personal bet of Isidoro Álvarez to have a figure of reference with which to strengthen the financial area of the group, once the refinancing of debt and open the door of new lines of financing with the appeal to the markets, culminated after closing in 2013 the first issue of bonds in its history in the amount of 600 million. Sources close to the company explained to Europa Press that Pizarro’s work will focus, fundamentally, on exploring these new funding channels with which to support the expansion of the group, and even more so now that the former president has set himself the goal of decisively confronting the challenge of internationalization.
The economist Ramón Tamames has assured
that Gimeno is the “most propitious” person to preside over the group, after the death of Isidoro Alvarez and has stressed that he is the “most esteemed” candidate, since he has been working all his life in the company together to his uncle. “I think he is the most propitious person, although there is a group, the Areces group, which controls 15% of the society, which has proposed the meeting of the board of directors, but Dimas Gimeno will most likely be the president and the second on board is Manuel Pizarro, “he said.
For his part, the businessman José Antonio Segurado stressed that El Corte Inglés has a team of “top-notch” collaborators who, in his opinion, will carry out a “comfortable and quick transition”, although Álvarez’s lack of an engine is “Absolutely irreplaceable.” Finally, the general secretary of the CEOE, José María Lacasa, stressed that the group is “solid” and “will know how to find the best solution for their direction”.