NATALIE MASSENET’s shock departure from Net-A-Porter, on the eve of the company’s merger with the Yoox group, has left the fashion industry abuzz with rumours asking why, what’s happened, and where will the BFC chairwoman move next? This morning, Massenet herself shed light on her decision.
“The completion of Net-a-Porter Group’s merger with Yoox Group is the right time for me to move on to explore new ideas and opportunities,” said Massenet in a statement this morning. “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 Marchetti’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 chapter for this amazing business.”
The news of Massenet’s resignation – which was confirmed last night in a statement by the Yoox Group which read, “Ms Massenet will not be a member of the board of directors of the new group, which will result from the upcoming merger” – will come as a shock to many. For others apparently not so, who claim that the American fashion entrepreneur’s “new marginal position, confined to an editorial and communications role.
Massenet, who founded Net-A-Porter in 2000 before growing it into the largest luxury e-commerce site and changing the way the world shopped online, was due to serve as executive chairman of the new company, with Marchetti – founder and CEO of Yoox Group (who also owns Shoecribe.com and Thecorner.com) – set to take on the role of CEO of the combined companies. There has been no word from either Net-A-Porter, Yoox Group or Richemont – who have owned a majority stake in Net-A-Porter since 2010 – as to who Massenet’s replacement will be or whether Marchetti will take on a larger role.
The merger, which was originally slated to complete this month, was delayed until October, as we reported in July. Whether or not this latest development in the process will delay matters further is yet to be seen.
“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,” said Massenet of her next step. “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.”