December 19, 2012 / 3:20 PM / in 5 years

Martha Stewart Living CEO to step down

Dec 19 (Reuters) - Media and merchandising company Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc said Chief Executive Lisa Gersh will step down and the company is searching for a replacement.

Shares of the company were down 9 percent at $2.35 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

Martha Stewart Living said Gersh will step down after a transition period, and expects the leadership transition to drive the company’s strategy of expanding its merchandising business.

Merchandising brought in 22 percent of the company’s revenue last year, while publishing accounted for 64 percent and media businesses the rest.

Gersh, who was previously with NBC Universal, joined Martha Stewart in June last year.

The company, which has been undergoing restructuring, said last month it will cut an undisclosed number of publishing jobs, convert “Everyday Food” magazine to digital and exit “Whole Living” magazine.

The company expects the restructuring to result in annualized cost savings of $45 million to $47 million.

The company, which has posted a profit only twice in the last eight quarters, has seen its share value nearly halve in the last year.

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