THE woman who transformed a small adult shop business into a high street brand has been honoured for her services to entrepreneurship, women in business and social enterprise.
Ann Summers boss Jacqueline Gold said she “didn’t know whether to laugh, cry or scream” when she found out she was being awarded a CBE in the New Year’s Honours List.
She added: “I have been in business for over 35 years and during that time there have been many highs, and a few challenges, but I have always stayed true to what I believe and creating a business that is about empowering women.
“I hope that this wonderful recognition that I have received encourages other women to follow their dreams and realise that anything is possible.”
Other business leaders to be recognised with honours include Anthony Preston, the founder of Pets at Home, who received a CBE for services to business, entrepreneurship and philanthropy.
He opened the first store in Chester in 1991 before building it up into a nationwide chain. The US private equity giant Kohlberg Kravis Roberts paid £955 million for the animal care business in 2010 before listing on the London stock market last March in a £1.2 billion flotation.
YO! Sushi boss Robin Rowland is another from the business world in the list, receiving an OBE for his services to the restaurant and hospitality industry.
Clive Cowdery, the insurance dealmaker and philanthropist, Alan Yarrow, the former Lord Mayor of the City of London and investment banker, and Peter Brown, the former Beatles manager turned New York PR supremo, received knighthoods.
Anne Wilson, the managing director of Sheffield-based Numill, received an MBE for services to engineering.