Mark Sebba ran luxury web shop Net-A-Porter.com for 11 year, but he has decided to take a step back at the age of 65 - even though his departure will linger on for a while.
World's most loved CEO
Sebba retired on 31 July, but his retirement party will be remembered for a long time. When he entered the group's main office in the London Westfield shopping center, he was treated to a large surprise.
Every employee was present and applauded his arrival. They sang, danced and partied while The Man (from Aloe Blacc) was played, while video conference images from across the world showed similar parties in New York and Shanghai. Nathalie Massenet, founder and chairman, even offered him a cup of tea at one point. The entire session was filmed and placed on Youtube as "Amazing surprise for the World's Most Loved CEO". Quite a powerful way to say goodbye.
"Net-a-Porter is stronger than ever"
Sebba started his Net-A-Porter career in 2003, three years after Nathalie Massanet launched the e-tailer. Being a tax specialist, he managed to grow the company's 6 million pound turnover in 2003 to 120 million pounds in 2009, the last year the company acted alone. Ever since 2010, the 2,500 employee-strong group has become a part of Swiss luxury group Richemont after a 225 million pound (283.5 million euro) sale.
"I am stepping down at a time with the company is stronger than ever. Our revenue is growing, we are market leaders and we continue to innovate and raise the bar in terms of our customer experience. We reach an audience globally of over 9m customers across multiple channels: web, mobile and app platforms", he said at his departure.
Search for a successor
Nathalie Massenet was full of praise for the departing CEO: "Mark Sebba has been the best CEO this company could have hoped for and my greatest ally. Since 2000, Net-A-Porter has championed innovation, creativity, technology and customer service and at its heart has been a man of incredible integrity, wisdom and strength. Not only has he grown our business exponentially and healthily and guided us through our sale to Richemont – he has also brought calm and confidence to the core of our group."
Mark Sebba will now become a non-executive director in the company's board of directors, while the search for his successor has started, but no names have leaked or have been announced.