Ahead of Net-a-Porter’s merger with Italian rival Yoox SpA, the company’s founder and executive chairman Natalie Massenet has announced her sudden departure

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Natalie Massenet, founder and executive chairman of Net-a-Porter  has resigned ahead of the company’s planned merger with Italian rival Yoox SpA.

In a statement, the online entrepreneur commented that she plans to explore, “new ideas and opportunities” - a fresh chapter after leading the company she founded 15 years ago to such huge success. Her exit comes as all the more surprising following news that she was to take up the position as chairman of the combined company, with Yoox founder Federico Marchetti appointed as chief executive officer.

The merger was agreed back in March and was expected to close this month to create the world’s biggest online luxury-goods retailer. According to Business of Fashion , Massenet, 50, will leave with more than 100 million pounds ($153 million) after the sale of her Net-a-Porter shares.

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Having been at the helm of a company at the top of the online fashion industry for so long, we can’t wait to see what the successful businesswoman and former journalist has in store next. “My entrepreneurial drive is as strong today as it always has been,” Massenet added in her statement, “and my passion for innovation will continue to be my greatest guide in business.”

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