Case Study #11—Martha Stewart
Read the Martha Stewart case study located in the section titled Case Studies in your textbook concerning the following situation:
This case focuses on the corporate governance aspect of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSO), a media empire founded by Martha Stewart. Stewart is a former model and devoted her career to domestic perfection and luxury. She is the brand icon of MSO; however, with new technology and the shift of consumer tastes and preferences, MSO’s business model is receiving serious threats from other competitors.
After a review of the history of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, the case discusses its competition, the legal problem that Martha Stewart encountered, changing leadership within MSO, Martha Stewart’s questionable compensation, and the future of MSO. The case concludes with a discussion of MSO’s future at a crossroads.
The case underscores the importance of corporate governance when conditions in the environment change. An analysis of the separation of ownership and managerial control, board of directors, and executive compensation will aid in evaluating the future of MSO. Some analysts suggest that MSO will lose its competitiveness once Martha Stewart leaves the company; others suggest that the MSO brand has lost its brand image by going into product lines such as cleaning fluids and dog poop bags. Also, a few analysts suggest that MSO is a potential takeover target.
This case is ideal for demonstrating the importance of corporate governance. The following points are to guide a review and discussion of some important concepts.
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