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Business Leaders

Martha Stewart CEO to Step Down, Successor Hunt Begins

Martha Stewart, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia


Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSO) said Wednesday that Lisa Gersh will step down as CEO.

A search for a successor to lead the New York-based media conglomerate is underway.

"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,” Gersh said.

She will remain CEO and a member of the board during a transition period.  

The unexpected departure may help give Martha Stewart Living an opportunity to use recently freed cash to expand its presence into more profitable regions and business categories.

A part of that plan is growing its merchandising business both domestically and abroad while entering into new product categories.

Under Gersh’s leadership, the company underwent a restructuring that at completion is expected to save it some $45 million to $47 million annually.

"Our media businesses are now repositioned for the future and we are excited about the potential of our digital, mobile, video and print platforms,” said non-executive chairman Martha Stewart.

Shares of Martha Stewart slipped some 1.5% to $2.54 in recent trade.

Follow Jennifer Booton on Twitter at @Jbooton