LONDON — Jacqueline Gold, founder of British lingerie and pleasure product retailer Ann Summers, has passed away. She was 62.
"It is with unspeakable sadness that Ann Summers confirm our amazing executive chair Jacqueline Gold CBE passed away yesterday evening with her husband Dan, daughter Scarlett, sister Vanessa, and brother-in-law Nick, by her side," said her family in a statement. "Jacqueline is best known for founding Ann Summers and leading a business run by women, for women. She was also an activist for women in business, and championed female entrepreneurs with the ambition to better the working environment for women.
“From an internship to chief executive officer in less than 10 years, her determination and commitment to creating a unique retail offering led to the creation of a multi-channel retail chain, consisting of retail stores, direct sales ambassadors, and a fast growing online and third-party business. It is her vision and creativity that saw Ann Summers grow from an unknown brand to a British household name and stable of the British high street."
According to Ann Summers’ website, Gold joined the company, which was owned by her father, in 1981 as executive chair and was inspired by Tupperware’s home parties to launch Ann Summers Party Plan, offering its own line of products. She was appointed as CEO in 1993 and went on to establish the company as the multichannel retailer that it is today.
Gold was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II in 2016 for services to entrepreneurship, women in business and social enterprise. Gold’s accolades also include being voted the second most powerful woman in retail by Retail Week in 2007, and being named one of Britain's most powerful women by multiple publications including Cosmopolitan and Good Housekeeping.
Gold's sister, Ann Summers CEO Vanessa Gold, added, "Jacqueline courageously battled stage 4 breast cancer for seven years and was an absolute warrior throughout her cancer journey. In life, she was a trailblazer, a visionary, and the most incredible woman, all of which makes this news that much harder to bear."
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