Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - E-tail CEO Departures
Image source: The Times

Last week marked changes in the landscape of fashion e-commerce, following exits from the founders of two of e-tail’s biggest names, ASOS and Net-A-Porter.

Nick Robertson of ASOS stepped down from his role as CEO on Wednesday, having been at the helm of the company for 15 years, though he will remain on the board as a non-executive director. Robertson founded ASOS – originally known as As Seen On Screen due to its replication of celebrity-endorsed fashion – in 2000.

He will be replaced by ASOS’s chief operating officer Nick Beighton, who has been described as “such an able successor for the CEO role” by Brian McBride, the company’s chairman.

Natalie Massenet’s departure from luxury e-tailer Net-A-Porter was also announced on Wednesday. The news came ahead of Net-A-Porter’s pending merger with Italian retailer Yoox SpA. The all-shares merger, which will conceive the Yoox Net-A-Porter Group, is expected to close later in the month.

Massenet has left Net-A-Porter on a high, taking more than £100m ($153m) after selling shares in the company she founded in 2000.

Since the merger between the rival companies was announced in March, grievances had been aired regarding alleged personality clashes between Massenet – who is known for her positive, democratic approach to team leading – and Yoox’s founder Federico Marchetti, who has previously declared “there is no love” between him and his employees.

In an interview with the Financial Times in May, Marchetti said of his company’s merger with its British rival: “I don’t think any merger in history has been so perfect on paper,” before adding that there would only be one boss of the Yoox Net-A-Porter Group: himself.

While both parties have been tight-lipped regarding Massenet’s departure – and, indeed, where she plans to go next – the 50-year-old Net-A-Porter founder said in a statement: “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.”

Reported by Grace Howard


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