Newsmaker Of The Week : Natalie Massenet

Our Newsmaker this week is Natalie Massenet, former founder and chairman of designer shopping website

One of fashion's great pioneers she transformed the luxury-fashion retail landscape with the founding of in 2000.

Born in May 1965 to a American journalist and a English model she spent her childhood in Paris and then at 12 moved to Los Angeles. When her parents divorced she chose to remain in the US with her father eventually graduating from U.C.L.A. and relocating to London.

Massenet worked as a model in Japan before starting her career in journalism at Women's Wear Daily and Tatler. She started her business with about 1.2m pounds at a Chelsea studio flat more than a decade ago with only two other employees. The company scored year-on-year profits annually and was bought by Swiss luxury goods group Richemont, which also owns Cartier and Chloe. Massenet received 50m pounds from the sale, which valued Net-a-Porter at 350m pounds.

In 2009 she was awarded her MBE for services to the fashion industry, and was named Harper's Bazaar Innovator of the Year in 2010. Last week, halfway through its pending merger with Italian e-commerce group Yoox SpA Massenet abruptly resigned. She was slated to be chairman of the combined company the Yoox Net-a-Porter Group. Massenet is said to receive a pay-off "well in excess of $112 million after selling shares in the company.

Check back next week to find out who our next Newsmaker is.