'A trailblazer, a visionary': Ann Summers boss Jacqueline Gold dies aged 62
The businesswoman died on Thursday evening with her loved ones by her side, ITV News' Rishi Davda reports
The boss of Ann Summers, Jacqueline Gold, has died aged 62.
The businesswoman died on Thursday evening, with her loved ones by her side, after seven years of treatment for breast cancer.
It comes just months after the death of her father, David Gold, the former joint-chairman of West Ham football club. He passed away in January, aged 86, following a short illness.
Ms Gold became CEO of the UK-wide lingerie brand in 1987 and transformed it into a multi-million pound business.
Her sister, Vanessa Gold, described her as "a trailblazer, a visionary, and the most incredible woman" in a tribute posted on the official Ann Summers Instagram page.
She added: "As a family, we are utterly heartbroken at the loss of our wife, mum, sister and best friend."
“Jacqueline courageously battled stage four breast cancer for seven years and was an absolute warrior throughout her cancer journey," she added.
A statement from Ms Gold’s family said: “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.
“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."
Ms Gold was best known for leading the lingerie brand and growing the retailer into a familiar sight on UK high streets.
The brand was developed by David and Ralph Gold, her father and uncle, after snapping up the retailer’s early business following liquidation in 1972.
In 1981, Ms Gold first joined the business on an internship and went on to launch the Ann Summers party to grow the brand.
Around 10 years later, Ms Gold was then made a director of the business before being named as its chief executive officer.
She continued to lead the business, which has 81 stores, in recent years as executive chair alongside her sister Vanessa, who is now chief executive officer.
Ms Gold was made an CBE in the 2016 New Year Honours for services to entrepreneurship, women in business and social enterprise.
Celebrities have paid tribute to the businesswoman including reality stars Maura Higgins - who regularly models for the brand - and Vicky Pattison originally of Geordie Shore fame.
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