Ann Summers’ boss, Jacqueline Gold, died of breast cancer at the age of 62, just ten weeks after her father, David Gold.
Jacqueline died surrounded by her closest family, including her husband, Dan Cunningham, 45, and the couple’s 14-year-old daughter Scarlett.
Gold, who will take over as CEO of Ann Summers in 2022, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016, the same year she was awarded a CBE.
Her famous father, the co-chairman of West Ham United, who rose from abject East End poverty to a £500 million fortune, died on January 4th, 2023, after a brief illness.
In 1981, he handed over Ann Summers and its four stores to Jacqueline; today, the company has 80 stores and annual sales of £113.8 million.
A statement from Jacqueline Gold’s family 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’.
Who is Jacqueline Gold’s Husband?
The Ann Summers CEO met her husband Dan Cunningham, 17 years her junior, in early 2002, after divorcing her previous husband, an Ann Summers dancer, after a brief marriage.
Dan, now 45, is a Director at West Ham United, where his late father-in-law David Gold was Chairman.
The couple started IVF shortly after they met, but the fertility treatment failed and was followed by two more failed attempts.
The physical and emotional demands of the treatment caused them to split up briefly in the early 2000s.
When they got back together, they decided to try IVF again, this time in America, and they conceived in 2009. Jacqueline, who was in her late forties at the time, gave birth to twins Alfie and Scarlett after seven years of trying to conceive.
Alfie was born with a severe brain disability and died at the age of eight months after receiving 24-hour care for alobar holoprosencephaly, a fatal condition.
Later that year, the couple married in a lavish ceremony at Oxfordshire’s Blenheim Palace, with their one-year-old daughter Scarlett by their side.
At a celebration of his late father-in-law David Gold’s life on February 1st this year, Dan read out a eulogy, as requested by David before his death in January at the age of 86.
Who is the couple’s daughter Scarlett?
Jacqueline Gold enjoyed a close relationship with her daughter, Scarlett, now 14, once saying ‘being her mother is the greatest honour and joy’.
She was born in 2009, following several unsuccessful IVF attempts by Ann Summers CEO and husband Dan Cunningham.
Scarlett and her twin brother Alfie arrived in May 2009, but Alfie’s life was tragically cut short due to a severe brain disability, and he died at the age of eight months.
The Ann Summers boss recalled the agony of hearing her desperately ill baby boy ‘crying in pain’ when he was born in a moving interview on Desert Island Discs in 2018.
She said: ‘I really struggled on a number of levels,’ she said of Alfie’s health battle. ‘I’d been told at about 12 weeks that one of my babies had a fatal abnormality and wouldn’t survive the birth.
‘There was an assumption that he would pass naturally,’ she said, but added that while pregnant that was ‘very hard to accept, understand or rationalise’.
‘I sort of grieved for my baby while he was in the womb.’
Jacqueline had long advocated for her daughter to follow in her footsteps; she told Lauren Laverne that Scarlett had been sitting in on her business meetings since she was five, because ‘I desperately want my daughter to grow up believing she can be whatever she wants to be’.