UPDATE: Martha Stewart CEO Lisa Gersh to Leave, Successor Search Underway
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. (NYSE: MSO) today announced that President and Chief Executive Officer Lisa Gersh plans to step down from that role and that a search is underway to name a successor. The leadership transition is expected to further drive the company's strategy of expanding its merchandising business alongside its successful media properties, both domestically and internationally.
Under Ms. Gersh's leadership, the company has successfully 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, which is expected to result in an EBITDA improvement of approximately $5 million to $7 million annually.
The company 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. As stated on the company's most recent earnings call, fourth quarter merchandising revenue is expected to be 15% higher than the same period last year with adjusted EBITDA margins of approximately 70%. In early 2013, the company will begin to realize the revenue and brand building benefits of its agreement with J.C. Penney, which was entered into in late 2011.
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