Originally created 03/16/04

Stewart resigns from board and chief creative officer role



NEW YORK -- Martha Stewart resigned Monday from the board and as chief creative officer of the media empire she built, a little more than a week after she was convicted of lying to federal investigators related to a 2001 stock sale.

The self-made queen of domestic arts will remain affiliated with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia in a new role of founding editorial director.

In that role, Stewart, 62, will continue to provide creative inspiration for new product design and development; pen two pending books, Homekeeping and Baking; and provide input on the continuing evolution of the company and its brand and strategic issues.

Stewart will report to chief executive officer Sharon Patrick.

"Everyone at MSO recognizes the seriouness of Martha's situation and is deeply saddened," said Patrick in a statement."However, all of us also believe that the company and our constitutencies benefit most if we are able to continue to take advantage of Martha's creative inspiration and capitalize on her prodigious skills and experience in the domestic arts."

In a statement, Stewart said that Monday's action was "in the best interest" of the company.

"I am heartsick about my personal legal situation - and deeply sorry for the pain and difficulties it has caused our employees," she said. "I look forward to continuing to collaborate on a wide range of creative ideas with the amazing, talented and hard-working people at this very special company."

Stewart is scheduled to be sentenced in June. She faces up to 20 years in prison, but legal experts say she'll likely serve 10 to 16 months.