In addition to being a co-founder and creating the viable plan and model for the soon to be acclaimed Net-A-Porter (NAP), Mark Quinn-Newall was the company’s first Chief Operating Officer, overseeing the raising of seed capital, subsequent rounds of funding and the development from initial concept to live site implementation of the E-commerce website with its worldwide fulfilment facilities, with NAP achieving sales in excess of £1 million per month by Jan 2004, when he vacated the role.

During those four and half years, Mark’s responsibilities went well beyond a typical Chief Operating Officer, covering eight critical areas.

In addition to monthly reporting to shareholders of the company on operational and financial performance, he liaised with major shareholders regarding the strategic positions and addressed the ongoing financing requirements of the company.

Attending all board meetings, Mark provided reporting for the company directors – whether it be performance or material events that had occurred. He reviewed, reported and discussed the strategic, operational, financial, legal, regulatory, and taxation implications and consequences of any proposed developments in the company’s business by the board. Mark was also responsible for the creation of all aspects of company budgets on revenue, cost and funding levels, and the integration of those budgets within the business plan together with the Finance Director for board approval.

Possibly most famously (ask DHL, who ultimately had Mark consult to them) he created the Global Fulfilment System used by NAP, which set them apart at the time – which incorporated Shipping/Duties/Taxes and Returns. He designed, created, and developed the worldwide Delivery Duty Paid (DDP) shipping system – then implemented Taxes & Duties database together with a transactional system for calculation of territorial luxury / fashion retail pricing. (Intra EU & USA & 95% of OECD countries). Mark was also responsible for the creation of a shipping pricing policy for UK, EU, USA and Worldwide to optimise luxury customer acquisition rates whilst minimising operating expenses. Having overseen this development he designed, implemented and managed the business processes behind the worldwide returns management system rollout which included integrating third party shipping suppliers into the NAP e-commerce system, and finally developed the logistics & transactional systems to comply with ever evolving fiscal legislation on worldwide company operations.

Within the information technology arena, he designed functionality and project managed the company’s website from initial conception to live site implementation including responsibility for both strategic and operational technology acquisition (hardware and software) and ongoing systems development, both on e-commerce level on the website, technical site architecture within the parameters of the ongoing business operational capacity and within the corporate LAN environment.

As Chief Operating Officer Mark managed corporate growth from 1 to + 50 staff, responding to the developing business environment and worked with all the senior managers of the company to ensure that the business plan goals were achieved. He presented the performance of the company at management meetings, any material events that had occurred together with analysis of their impact on the company and with the required management action to be taken to fulfil the business plan targets.

He was active in operational online marketing at the time, being responsible for the email marketing, and the implementation of the emailing business cycle. Mark oversaw development, maintenance, management, and analysis of budget expenditure (ROI) for all forms of online marketing. (Search engines, direct advertising, affiliates programs, email databases, URL acquisitions) and beyond this development of company customer databases and CRM analysis utilising Cognos BI reporting and creation of online email marketing strategy, at a customer specific, designer specific, products specific, and corporate level.

Within the sphere of wholesale buying through to retail sales management, he implemented COGNOS BI software and development of reporting metrics, which analysed the performance and efficiency of all wholesale designer purchasing process. He reviewed all major wholesale purchasing to ensure that corporate guidelines were being implemented. On the retail end, he developed and implemented reporting analysis of retail customer purchasing profiles on a demographic and spending basis.

In a time that pre-dated GDPR by nearly two decades, he managed Regulatory & Data Information issues (distance selling, data protection, privacy, and electronic communications, etc) related to EU, USA, and UK legislation and their resultant effects on all aspects of the company’s operations.

Mark was responsible for implementation of worldwide IP portfolio and the continued management of IP rights. Monitored and advised the board on commercial issues relating to IP and dealt with IP disputes over proprietary or third-party brand or trademark usage, always a complex area.

Reviewing of all contracts entered into by company, and responsible for due diligence on corporate M&A activity also formed part of his duties.

Rounding out his responsibilities, Mark oversaw all negotiations and documentation of all issues regarding shareholders, third parties, and internal corporate documentation. (Shareholder agreements, investor subscription agreements, disclosure documentation, share option agreements, employee contracts, etc.)

Mark Quinn-Newall

Net-a-Porter co-founder Mark Quinn-Newall