Following yesterday’s rather unexpected announcement that the founder of Net-A-Porter, Natalie Massenet would be decamping from the company, she has finally broke her silence. This morning, an email hit my inbox at 2:32 a.m. shouting that the Net-A-Porter Group was announcing the executive chairman’s departure, right before her e-commerce site completed their merger with Yoox. Here’s what Ms. Massenet had to say:
“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.
“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’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.
“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. 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.”
In many cases, announcements regarding a high profile resignation can seem canned or a product of a carefully crafted publicity stunt. However, Ms. Massenet’s words here are both sincere and thoughtful. It is clear that she used her journalistic background when piecing together this announcement. And for me, it calls to mind the statement that Oscar de la Renta sent out when he decided to hire Peter Copping in 2014.
In the email sent out by Mr. de la Renta’s team, he remarked: “[Mr. Copping] is a great talent and along with our shared design sensibilities, we both have a deep curiosity about the wider world, from music and art to architecture and gardens. Our industry has not always done the best job when it comes to changes in design leadership. My hope is that, in leading this selection, and actively participating in the transition, I can insure the right design future for our company and brand.”
Not only did those words show a feeling of genuine pride about his successor, but it also conveyed the emotions that were hidden behind this strategic move. Quite similar to how Ms. Massenet is approaching her situation. Hopefully, Federico Marchetti, the CEO and founder of Yoox, will be able to continue forging forward with the same momentum that Net-A-Porter has been moving with. Dedicated shoppers, standby.