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Ann Summers pioneer Jacqueline Gold CBE dies aged 62

Tom Shearsmith
17 March 2023

Ann Summers pioneer Jacqueline Gold has sadly died at the age of 62, following seven years of treatment for breast cancer.

The news was announced in a statement from her family, reading: “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.

“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 Gold's achievements during her career, she was awarded a CBE in the 2016 New Year Honours for services to entrepreneurship, women in business and social enterprise.

In 2018, she talked about suffering abuse as a child, as well as the fears that hold women back from speaking out. Gold also said that girls should be brought up with the same aspirations as boys, ensuring everyone has an equal chance of entering businesses and the boardroom.

Gold initially chose to keep her battle with breast cancer a secret for over a year, before later talking openly about the disease and the impact it had on her health.

The family statement continued: “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.”

Ann Summers CEO and Jacqueline’s sister, Vanessa, added: “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”.

Speaking in tribute Retail Trust CEO Chris Brook-Carter said: “It’s with great sadness that today we heard of the passing of Jacqueline Gold CBE, pioneer, friend and beacon for the retail industry, after a courageous battle with cancer.

“Jacqueline was massively supportive of our work at the Retail Trust and inspired us all to do more around driving the agenda for diversity and inclusion, supporting those affected by domestic abuse and empowering women.

“Over many years, she was also a great inspiration personally – her warmth, passion for a more inclusive world and courage confronting inequality in the workplace played a significant role in my own views and actions around the fight for a fairer world.

“She set the bar and was a real force for good for retail. Jacqueline faced the incredible challenges in her life with dignity and bravery and she’ll continue to inspire us all. She will be very sadly missed.

“We are all thinking of the Gold family and the extended Ann Summers family who’ll feel her loss so deeply. We send our deepest sympathies.”

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