Following the earlier report that Net-a-Porter Natalie Massenet had stepped down from the company, Yoox Group has confirmed the resignation.
Following the resignation, Yoox Group said in a statement, “Ms. Massenet will not be a member of the Board of Directors of the new Group, which will result from the upcoming merger.”
In March, Compagnie Financière Richemont, Net-a-Porter’s parent company, agreed to merge Net-a-Porter with Yoox Group in a deal valuing the former at 950 million pounds, or 1.44 billion euros, or $1.57 billion.
The executive has been a major force in the luxury market, particularly in London, where she serves as chairman of the British Fashion Council.
“Natalie has completely changed the face of retail,” said designer Nicholas Kirkwood. “Net-a-Porter has become the worldwide local department store. Natalie has championed not only the biggest names in the business but also many emerging brands. It cannot be over-emphasized the impact she has had. She is truly a trailblazer of the 21st century.”
Massenet, founder and executive chairman of Net-A-Porter, was to serve as executive chairman of the new company. Federico Marchetti, founder and CEO of Yoox Group — who has been rapidly building his own company — is set to be CEO of the combined entity.
The deal is expected to close this month, so it’s not surprising that Massenet would make her move now.
“Established business models are being increasingly disrupted by the technological giants. It is with this in mind that we believe it is important to increase leadership and size to protect the uniqueness of the luxury industry,” said Johann Rupert, chairman of Richemont, when the deal was announced. “The merger of the two leaders will further enhance an independent, neutral platform for a sophisticated clientele looking for luxury brands.”