Martha Stewart CEO Lisa Gersh stepping down as CEO
Larry Thomas -- Furniture Today, December 19, 2012
Lisa Gersh, president and CEO of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. is stepping down from that role and a search is underway to name a successor, the company announced.
Gersh will remain in her current role and continue to serve as a member of the board of directors during a transition period.
Gersh joined the company as president and chief operating officer in June, 2011, and was named CEO in July 2012.
Under Gersh's leadership, the company restructured and repositioned its publishing and broadcast divisions to improve profitability and expand delivery of its lifestyle offerings through digital, mobile and video platforms. The company expects the restructuring to result in annualized cost savings in the range of $45 million to $47 million, according to the release.
MSLO is also focused on building its higher margin merchandising businesses by expanding into new product categories, adding new distribution partners and entering new international markets. In early 2013, the company expects to start realizing the revenue and brand building benefits of its agreement with J.C. Penney, which was entered into in late 2011.
Martha Stewart, founder and non-executive chairman, said, "Our media businesses are now repositioned for the future and we are excited about the potential of our digital, mobile, video and print platforms. As one example, our digital business hit an all-time high of 8.3 million unique visitors in November. Building on this momentum, we are now increasing our capabilities in merchandising and plan to take full advantage of that opportunity for the benefit of our shareholders and all of our partners both at home and abroad. The rest of the board and I are grateful for Lisa's leadership and thank her for the many contributions she has made to the company."
"It has been an honor to lead this company with its iconic brands, loyal following and wealth of creative talent," Gersh said. "With the restructuring of the media businesses complete and a strong team leading key financial and corporate functions, the company is on solid footing and positioned for growth. There is an exciting future ahead for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and I am committed to working with the board to ensure a smooth transition."
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