Lyne Steps Down as Martha Stewart Chief

Jun 11, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Susan Lyne has stepped down as president and CEO of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.
She is being replaced by co-CEOs: Wenda Harris Millard, the former Yahoo! sales executive who has been MSLO media president for nearly a year, and Robin Marino, who has been MSLO merchandising president for three years.
Ms. Lyne, a well-regarded ABC executive who had an award-winning rise to ABC Entertainment president, is to stay on in an advisory role and on the board of directors during a transitional period that was not defined in the announcement Wednesday.
She had been hired four years ago to rebuild the company and restore the luster of the Martha Stewart brand that was tarnished by Ms. Stewart’s conviction for lying during a federal investigation into insider trading of ImClone stock and her resulting five-month prison term.
MSLO last year reported its first annual profit in five years.
“We’ve launched some great new businesses, built an impressive management team and re-affirmed the enduring power of the Martha Stewart brand,” Ms. Lyne said in a statement in the announcement. “While there is never a perfect time to depart, the company is on sound footing and we expect the transition to be very smooth. Wenda and Robin share Martha’s vision of the company’s future, they understand our businesses and have earned the trust of our partners.”
In her statement, MSLO founder Ms. Stewart said: “Our company is strong and vibrant, and Susan’s contributions have been key. Wenda and Robin are passionate, consumer-oriented leaders with equally passionate teams.”
Ms. Millard and Ms. Marino will report to MSLO board chairman Charles Koppelman, who said in his statement: “Susan has made tremendous contributions to MSLO during a critical period for us. We are now profitable, our brand has never been stronger, and the many partnerships we have forged in recent years leave us well-positioned for growth. We have a deep bench of executive talent at MSLO and are pleased to promote Wenda and Robin, two seasoned executives who have been instrumental in helping us diversify our brand portfolio and revenue streams. Under their leadership, we’ll continue expanding our media and merchandising businesses into new markets in and outside the U.S. and will remain focused on creating value for shareholders.”
Reporting to Ms. Millard will be Broadcasting President Sheraton Kalouria, who was hired by Ms. Lyne and who oversees “The Martha Stewart Show,” Martha Stewart Living Radio on Sirius Satellite Radio, the PBS series “Everyday Food” and “Everyday Baking,” and Martha Stewart On Demand, as well as international and cable distribution and original series development.
(Editor: Jensen)

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