This case compresses the coming, achievement and difficulties confronted by Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia regarding Martha's authority and her serving as a brand symbol for the organization. Martha Stewart could hoist household aptitudes, for example, cooking and home adornment to an "artistic expression" and dispatched her magazine "Martha Stewart Living" in mid 1990salong with a TV show with Time Inc. what's more, dispatching another named "Martha Stewart's Weddings" by 1994. It was in 1990 that Stewart took control over her business and framed MSO with Patrick. The brand depended to a great extent on Martha Steward's identity and tastes and by the late 1990s, she had turned into a conspicuous female brand name. The organization opened up to the world in 1999, making Stewart the first female independent tycoons. In mid 2000s, MSO began confronting testing rivalry because of ascent of contending magazines by Time Inc. furthermore, different contenders. Also, mechanical headways offered ascend to minimal effort contenders. What's more, powerlessness of MSO to keep pace with changes in patterns and tastes of customers additionally influenced its deals. Stewart, being a controlling shareholder, CEO and Chairman of the board, controlled the choice making forces of the sheets to support her which was clear in her extreme pay. Likewise, since the brand totally depended on Martha Stewart's picture as a brand symbol, the insider-exchanging examination of Martha in 2002 hit a genuine hit to MSO's deals and future prospects.
1. In what ways did Stewart’s control of shareholder voting rights disrupt the functioning of the board? How did her control of the board interfere with directors’ carrying out their fiduciary duties?
2. What changes in the makeup of the board would have improved governance?
3. How might changes in corporate bylaws have improved governance?
4. What situations might have been improved or avoided through better risk management?
5. What are the advantages and disadvantages of having one person serve as both a company's dominant brand its controlling shareholder?
6. In what ways did MSO fail to respond to competitive trends and changes in consumer preferences? Why?
7. What might management have done to stabilize revenue and reassure investors after Stewart's legal troubles surfaced?
8. What were the internal and external symptoms of trouble in the years following Stewart's 2005 return to the company?