Net-a-Porter founder Natalie Massenet steps down ahead of Yoox merger

Net-a-Porter's founder and executive chairman, Natalie Massenet, has handed in her resignation ahead of the completion of the merger between the luxury goods e-tailer and Italian retailer Yoox Group.

The merger of Yoox and Net-a-Porter was announced in the spring and was due to complete later this year. Massenet was going to serve as executive chairman of the combined entity, while her counterpart at Yoox, Federico Marchetti, was to be CEO.

In a statement Yoox said Massenet will not be a member of the new board of directors following the completion of the merger.

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."

Massenet continued to say that the business she started back in 2000 could not be in better shape after partnering with Yoox: "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."

It is unlikely this will be the last the eCommerce industry will see of Massenet who said her "entrepreneurial drive is as strong today as it always has been".

"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," she concluded.

This is the second big-name eCommerce departure of the week, after Nick Robertson, founder and CEO of Asos, announced his resignation yesterday. Chief operating officer (COO), Nick Beighton, will take the top job with immediate effect, as Robertson maintains a board role as a non-executive director.