Jacqueline Gold CBE, the executive chair of Ann Summers, has died aged 62, her family have confirmed.
The businesswoman was battling breast cancer and died on Thursday evening following seven years of treatment.
Gold became a CBE in the 2016 New Year Honours for services to entrepreneurship, women in business and social enterprise.
Family of Ann Summers founder releases statement
A statement from the family has been released and it recognises Gold’s achievements within the business.
It reads: “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.
“In recognition of Jacqueline’s significant achievements during her 40-year career, she was awarded a CBE in the 2016 New Year Honours for services to entrepreneurship, women in business and social enterprise.”
The family statement continues: “Jacqueline’s death comes just two months after the passing of her father, David Gold, the Joint-Chairman of West Ham United FC. The thoughts and sincere condolences of everyone at Ann Summers are with Jacqueline’s husband Dan, daughter Scarlett, and sister Vanessa at this extremely sad time.”
Jacqueline’s sister, Vanessa, who is the CEO of Ann Summers said: “Jacqueline courageously battled stage 4 breast cancer for seven years and was an absolute warrior throughout her cancer journey. In life she was a trailblazer, a visionary, and the most incredible woman, all of which makes this news that much harder to bear.
“As a family, we are utterly heartbroken at the loss of our wife, mum, sister, and best friend”.