Former chief executive of The Net-a-Porter Group, Mark Sebba, aged 69, died on Monday 23 July from a sudden heart attack.
Sebba was CEO of The Net-a-Porter Group from 2003 until 2014, when his retirement was marked by Natalie Massenet and the team with a video declaring him the most loved CEO in the world. The video currently has nearly 1.3 million views on YouTube.
In a statement the business said: “He will be remembered by all of his colleagues and anyone whose life he touched as the very best of men.”
In November 2014 Sebba picked up the Fashion Retailing Personality of the Year award at the Drapers awards alongside his colleague Natalie Massenet. He was also a champion of new talent and in 2015 spoke at Drapers Next Generation event, sharing his industry knowledge and expertise.
Sebba was a trustee of the Victoria & Albert Museum and chairman of its commercial arm, V & A Enterprises.
Prior to his time at Net-a-Porter, Sebba worked as an investment banker in London and New York before moving into finance director roles in early stage media and new technology businesses.
Writing on Instagram, editor-in-chief of online content at Net-a-Porter Lucy Yeomans said she was “heartbroken” by the news: “A man of honour, integrity, kindness and excellence, and a lover and supporter of people and ideas like no other. Heartbroken about the news of Mark Sebba’s sudden death and sending love and prayers to his beloved wife…
“I had the privilege of working with him when I joined @netaporter where he was without doubt the worlds #mostlovedceo and the extraordinary relationship he enjoyed with his long-time collaborator @nat_mass was a joy and an inspiration to behold.”
Net-a-Porter co-founder Natalie Massenet said on Instagram: “I am shocked, grieving and heartbroken at the sudden loss of my friend Mark Sebba – mentor, father-figure and partner in building the Net-a-porter Group.
“For those of you fortunate enough to have known him we share an incredible loss – described by everyone as elegant, charming,kind, funny, generous, inspiring and humble he has left this world too soon. My love and prayers go out to his beautiful family.”
Paying tribute to Sebba Elliot Conway, head of Pentland Ventures said: ”I wish I had worked with Mark for longer, every interaction I had with him reinforced what a fundamentally talented, warm and decent man he was. He embodied a rare combination of character traits that you don’t often see in business with his professionalism, generosity of spirit and under-stated approach. He never made it about him, it was always about people around him.
“His loss was incredibly shocking but it made me sad personally that we can’t continue our working relationship together. I connected with him after his Net-a-Porter days to share ideas and investment opportunities and he was simply just an incredible mentor and a mentor to so many people. May his memory be a blessing.”
Stephanie Phair, chief strategy officer at Farfetch, said: “Beyond the success of Net-a-Porter Group, Mark leaves a legacy in the hundreds of people who he inspired and consider him a mentor. He led by example, with integrity and kindness; he was a champion of people and talent. The industry has lost a great leader and a good man. He will be missed by so many.”
Sebba is survived by his wife, author Anne Sebba, their three children, Adam, Amy and Imogen, and his five grandchildren.