Who really is the boss at Martha Stewart?

April 21, 2009

We’ve recently been wondering who the real boss is at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. You know, the supreme chief, the head honcho, the generalissimo.  At one point we noticed the management team consisted of two co-chief executives, an executive chairman as well as a chief financial officer. All this with Martha herself hovering in the background.

Well we won’t have to wonder anymore. Or maybe we will.

It looks like the company’s top tier is slimming down with co-CEO Wenda Harris Millard stepping down to join Media Link, an advisory firm, less than a year after the ex-Yahoo exec was promoted to (co-) run the lifestyle brand.

Millard’s co-CEO Robin Marino will no longer hold that title but will continue to oversee the company’s merchandising business — and perhaps as consolation for her loss of title the company has recommended her for a seat on its board.

Charles Koppelman, who once ran EMI, will run day-to-day operations in his on-going role as chairman and principal executive officer. According to Koppelman’s Wikipedia page he’s a part-owner of pole-dancing club and his daughter Jennifer co-hosts a Sirius satellite radio show with Alexis Stewart, Martha’s daughter. Nice.

The management musical chairs at MSLO might have its roots in the fact that Stewart has been barred from serving as a corporate officer with financial reporting and other duties for five years under a 2006 settlement with U.S. securities regulators over insider-trading.

But Stewart continues to oversee all editorial and creative functions at the company so in essence is still very likely the real top dawg at the company she founded.

No doubt there will soon be the usual speculation about in-fighting and management fall-outs — or maybe we’re just hoping.

Keep an eye on:

  • New York Times first quarter losses mount (NYT)
  • Rodgers & Hammerstein catalogue gets bought (WSJ)
  • Lions Gate makes anti-Icahn deal with bondholders (LA Times)

(Photo: Reuters)

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