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Martha Stewart Living Announces Board Shuffling

Jul 27, 2004  •  Post A Comment

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia on Tuesday named a new chairman and announced that lead director Arthur Martinez is stepping down.

Board member Thomas Siekman was tapped to replace Jeffrey Ubben as chairman of the lifestyle company. Mr. Siekman has served as a director for three years and was formerly of counsel with the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

Mr. Ubben, whose investment firm ValueAct Capital is the second-largest investor in Martha Stewart Omnimedia, behind founder Martha Stewart, will remain a director after serving as chairman for a little more than a year. He replaced founder Martha Stewart last year following her resignation amid allegations of covering up a stock sale for which she was later convicted. He cited time constraints as the reason behind his decision. He will remain a director.

“I felt this was the right time to turn over the chairmanship to someone who has the skills and, most importantly, sufficient time available to guide the board and the company forward from this point,” Mr. Ubben said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Ms. Stewart proposed and the company named former EMI Records Group North America Chairman Charles Koppelman as the new board member to replace Mr. Martinez, who provided no reason for his departure. Mr. Koppelman is presently chairman and CEO of CAK Entertainment, a music and entertainment company.

The moves come just weeks after Omnimedia elected four new board members, including former ABC executive Susan Lyne, and raised the number of directors to nine, eight of whom are independent.