Here's the internal email Net-a-Porter founder Natalie Massenet sent to announce her £100 million resignation
The news came as a surprise to many people, both inside and out of the company, as Massenet had repeatedly made it clear that she intended to stay at Net-a-Porter for a long time.
News of Massenet's departure came just hours after it was announced that a merger between Net-a-Porter and Italian online fashion retailer Yoox had been approved by the Competition and Markets Authority.Bloomberg reports that Massenet leaves with over £100 million ($153 million) following the sale of shares in her company. The Financial Times reported that the sum came as a result of the dispute that led to her quitting:
According to industry insiders with direct knowledge of the matter, Ms Massenet resigned with a pay-off well in excess of €100m as a result of the outcome of a dispute with Richemont over the value of the Net-a-Porter group.
She previously received £46 million ($67.9 million) for setting up the Yoox deal in April. The deal led to a corporate structure in which the new company was controlled by two founders, Massenet (from Net-a-Porter) as chairman and Yoox founder Federico Marchetti as CEO. Both started their companies in 2000. The FT said:
Industry analysts had been sceptical about both Ms Massenet and Mr Marchetti, both strong characters and founders of their own groups, being able to remain together inside the same structure. Oliver Chen, an analyst with Cowen & Company, said at the time of the announced merger that a key risk to the deal was "culture issues", including the fact that "both founders expected to remain involved".
Business Insider has obtained the full email that Massenet sent to Net-a-Porter staff shortly after the news of her departure broke:
Dear Team,I was hoping to talk to you all after our summer celebrations on Friday but unfortunately as you will have seen the news of my departure has leaked.
You are the most important people for me to let know that after 15 years, I am taking advantage of a new chapter in the company history to leave the Net-A-Porter stage and let you skilfully and beautifully create the future of fashion.
Here is what we will be saying externally tomorrow morning, and after that is my personal message to you:
"After 15 extraordinary and exceptional years at Net-A-Porter, the completion of the merger with Yoox 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.
The business I started in 2000 could not be in better shape today. Having joined forces with Yoox, 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.
And from me personally to all of you:
After some serious soul searching I have taken the decision to retire from The Net-a-porter Group and to start a new chapter in my life - one where I take the company, the team, the memories, the incredible journey with me in my heart and stand back and position myself in the proud spectator's box and watch the business flourish and grow independently.
For the handful of you who have known me from when this company started, and for those of you who over the last decade and more have heard me frequently spin my vision of the future, you will remember that I always thought that we should build this place to last -- to outlast us all! AND that it was co-created by each of you. When I look at what we have accomplished I am so proud - as must all of you be, that we have a world renowned company, world class teams built of and by people who we enjoy working with and inspire us, almost every important fashion brand we could wish for (come on Prada/LV!) and a growing loyal base of global fashion customers/readers who turn to us everyday.
Now the only thing left to do is to continue in every way to make the world a more stylish place! And that carries on without me. You each have a responsibility to lead by example, to nurture and protect what is good and right in the world, and to remember that our business is here to make people look and feel better so that they too can make a positive impact.I hope I have instilled in each of you the values that have blessed me in this life and rewarded me with this extraordinary sense of accomplishment and a confidence that you can break rules and make things work for the better. These are values that I urge you to continue to embody not just in work but in your life. I know you will make me so proud as you and everyone who is associated with this company lives by example. Our company values are there for a reason - they have guided me and I know they will continue to guide you.
Be the best: Don't settle for less. Strive to be the best you can be and to live truly with high standards. If you aim for middle of the road then if you succeed that's exactly where you will be. Always aim higher and higher and that's where you will go.
Lead, don't follow: ok -- follow instructions and follow advice, and be collaborative BUT STRIVE TO make a difference. Do this in business, and in your own life. Celebrate individuality. Opportunity finds you when you go looking for it.
Exceed expectations: at the very least do what you say you'll do or are expected to do. But no one remembers those things. Add flourish, a thoughtful touch, something unexpected. It can be the tiniest of gestures or details. You will be amazed how far the little extra bit gets you - no matter how massive an undertaking you might have delivered.
Be Smart and Stylish: Celebrate both in everything; your life, your team mates, an intricate operational matrix, a new operating program, a fashion story. Intelligence is stylish and vice versa. Celebrate and create balance between the two. Don't have one without the other.
And Serve, serve, serve: never ask someone to do something you wouldn't do yourself and likewise follow the golden rule -- treat others as you would like to be treated. Make yourself indispensable.
B L E S S!
You know you are now in the exceptional hands of The Net-a-porter Group leadership team as you embark on our new life as the new YOOX-NET-A-PORTER GROUP. I will always be the proud founder of this business and your biggest fan (and customer!).I feel my contribution to The Net-a-porter Group has been made. This is a sincere handing of the baton to our talented executive team and to each of you. You make me proud and I thank each of you for helping me create this business. Together we rewrote the future of fashion!