The Net-a-Porter group has confirmed the departure of founder Natalie Massenet as Executive Chairman.
Massenet would have been chairman of the combined company after a planned merger with Italian rival Yoox, but has stepped down from the luxury e-tailer 15 years after she launched the business. She will not be on the board of Yoox Net-a-Porter.
Massenet made £50m when she sold a stake in Net-a-Porter to swiss conglomerate Richemont in 2010, which has a total holding of 93% in the company. After selling those shares, the 50 year-old is leaving with over £100m, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Business of Fashion.
In a statement Massenet said: “After 15 extraordinary and exceptional years at the Net-a-Porter group, the completion of the merger with Yoox Group is the right time for me to move on to explore new ideas and opportunities.
I am immensely proud of the achievements of everyone who has helped build the world’s greatest game changing luxury fashion company, and I thank them all for helping me realise and surpass our dreams. I also want to thank our millions of customers around the world for continuing to be our greatest champions and inspiration, and the brands and designers who embarked with me on this digital journey over a decade ago and who made the Net-a-Porter group possible.
The business I started in 2000 could not be in better shape today. Having joined forces with Yoox Group, the company will be bigger, stronger and superbly well positioned under Federico’s leadership to lead the industry and create the future of fashion. As a continuing loyal customer I will be excited to see the next chapters for this amazing business.
As for my own future, my entrepreneurial drive is as strong today as it always has been, and my passion for innovation will continue to be my greatest guide in business. The incredible experiences and memories of the past decade and a half and the people I have had the honour to work alongside will always be an inspiration to me.”
Massenet’s shock resignation comes a day after another online fashion powerhouse, Asos, also saw its founder resign 15 years after setting up the site.