Business

Ann Summers boss Jacqueline Gold has died at the age of 62, her family has said.

The multi-millionaire businesswoman, who passed away with her family at her side on Thursday evening after seven years of treatment for breast cancer, was hailed an “absolute warrior” by her sister.

It comes just two months after the death of her 86-year-old tycoon father, David, who was co-chairman of West Ham United.

A family statement 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.”

Her sister Vanessa said: “Jacqueline courageously battled stage four breast cancer for seven years and was an absolute warrior throughout her cancer journey.”

She was made a CBE in the 2016 New Year Honours for services to entrepreneurship, women in business and social enterprise.

Ms Gold was best known for heading the lingerie and sex toy retailer Ann Summers and growing the business into a successful high street brand.

The firm had been snapped up by her father David with his brother Ralph in 1972, when it had gone into liquidation and had just four stores that operated as sex shops.

The pair set about transforming the company, first bringing in Ms Gold on an internship in 1981.

She soon made her mark, launching the Ann Summers party to grow the brand.

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The concept of holding events at the homes of customers to promote products proved very popular and got around laws that barred sex toys from being put on public display.

She went on to be made a company director before becoming its chief executive in 1987.

Ms Gold had 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.

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