Ann Summers has shuffled its top team as part of a restructuring of the business, with Vanessa Gold taking up the role of company chair and Maria Hollins being promoted to chief executive, Retail Week can reveal. 

Maria Hollins, chief executive of Ann Summers

Maria Hollins has been promoted to chief executive

The senior team shake-up is part of a business restructure for the lingerie and sex toy retailer, following the death of Jacqueline Gold in March this year, who made Ann Summers a fixture of the UK high street.

Her sister, Vanessa Gold, has been chief executive since February 2022, after previously being joint managing director, and will take responsibility for looking after a wider portfolio of businesses in her new role as chair.

Hollins was joint managing director alongside Vanessa Gold from February 2019 and was promoted to managing director in 2021.

Ann Summers has also created its first-ever channels director role, which is yet to be staffed.

The new role was created following the departure of digital director Ewan Qualters and retail director Marek Laskowski, who have both left the business as part of the restructuring.

Hollins said she will announce the appointment of a new channels director when she “has more to share”.

Gold said: “Although this year started as a very challenging year for our Ann Summers family, I am thrilled to announce that Maria has been promoted to CEO, a position she thoroughly deserves.

Vanessa Gold, chair, Ann Summers

Vanessa Gold has become chair of the business

“Jacqueline and I met Maria in 2018 and have been working closely together since she joined us, firstly as an interim consultant, then moving on to become MD.

“Maria’s passion for our brand, dedication, leadership skills and her support to myself and the family have been truly fantastic.

“My family and I have been and are so proud of the journey Ann Summers has been on, and there’s still so much more opportunity to seize. Maria took me through the strategy updates last week and I really am excited to see Ann Summers evolve into the future.

“With this change, my own personal role becomes chair. I continue to be passionate about Ann Summers, but naturally now will be overseeing all of the Gold Group family business.

“I’m sure you will join me in wishing Maria all the success in her new role.

“Finally, thank you to you all for your support these past months. The messages of positivity and energy mean so much.”