Jacqueline Gold dead: Ann Summers founder dies at the age of 62 after breast cancer battle
Ann Summers founder Jacqueline Gold has died at the age of 62, her family said on Friday morning.
The “visionary” businesswoman died on Thursday evening following a lengthy battle with breast cancer, with her husband, daughter and other family members by her side.
Her sister Vanessa, who is 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”.
Jacqueline Gold - In pictures
Ms Gold was best known for leading lingerie brand Ann Summers 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, who snapped up the business in 1972 after it went into liquidation.
Ms Gold first joined the business on an internship in 1981, and later helped grow the brand by launching the concept of the Ann Summers party.
Around 10 years later, Ms Gold was then made a director of the business before swiftly being named its chief executive officer.
She continued to lead the business, which today has 81 stores, in recent years as executive chair alongside her sister Vanessa, who is now CEO.
Ms Gold was made an CBE in the 2016 New Year Honours for services to entrepreneurship, women in business and social enterprise.
A statement from her family on Friday 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.
“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.”
Ms Gold’s death comes just two months after that of her father David Gold, the joint-chairman of West Ham United, at the age of 86.