In a surprise exit, Natalie Massenet announced her sudden departure from Net-a-Porter yesterday.
The e-commerce visionary, who founded the luxury website 15 years ago, made the announcement just five months after the company’s merger with its competitor and archrival, Yoox.
Massenet, who most recently served as executive chairman, made her resignation after returning from a vacation and selling her shares at the company, which were valued at $153 million (AED 561 million). Her departure comes at a surprising time, as she stayed on board when Yoox’s acquisition of Net-a-Porter was announced in March, despite industry insiders expecting her to leave the company at the time.
She has now severed ties with the company entirely, and won’t remain on the board of directors of the group. In a statement, Yoox announced, “Following Natalie Massenet’s tendering of her resignation today as executive chairman of the Net-a-Porter Group, Ms. Massenet will not be a member of the board of directors of the new group which will result from the upcoming merger.” The rumor mill has gone into overdrive, with whispers of a heated rivalry and heightened disagreements between Massenet and Yoox’s founder, Federico Marchetti.
Massenet remains one of the most influential women in fashion today. It remains to be seen where she will end up, but with a 12-month non-compete agreement with her company, it’s very likely we won’t see her at another luxury brand or retailer for at least another year.
Photo: Courtesy of WSJ