Jacqueline Gold, CEO of Ann Summers, is interviewed by Lauren Laverne for Desert Island Discs
Jacqueline Gold is the CEO of the retail brands Ann Summers and Knickerbox. She joined the business at the age of 19 for work experience, and faced resistance because her father, David Gold, was the owner. By the time she was 21, she had persuaded the largely sceptical all-male board to invest in her radical idea: to re-invent the Ann Summers brand by selling lingerie and sex toys at women-only parties held in their homes. Along with the parties, there are now over 100 high street shops, with a multi-million pound turnover.
Jacqueline’s childhood was difficult after her parents divorced when she was 12. Although she was a shy child, she worked throughout her teens which brought her a degree of financial independence and resilience. Today she’s a strong advocate of female empowerment, supports women in business and has set up the WOW incentive on Twitter.
Jacqueline was awarded a CBE in 2016 and was ranked as the 16th wealthiest female entrepreneur by The Sunday Times in 2017. Happily married for the second time, she and her husband Dan underwent several courses of IVF treatment, and she eventually conceived twins. One of the children, Alfie, only survived for eight months. Their daughter, Scarlett is now aged nine.
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Presenter: Lauren Laverne
Producer: Cathy Drysdale