Martha Stewart

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Martha Stewart is stepping down as CEO of her media empire.

A statement from Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia says the tastemaker will remain on the board. Stewart says she's stepping down "because it is the right thing to do."

Her resignation follows her indictment today in a stock-trading scandal.

Federal prosecutors say Stewart dumped her stock in a biotechnology company in 2001 because she'd gotten illegal privileged information. They say she covered her tracks by lying to investigators and shareholders. The government says the homemaking guru, who was a billionaire during the 1990s, saved $45,000 from the sale.

Stewart says she's innocent. She's free on bail. Her lawyer says she's a target because she's a woman "who has successfully competed in a man's business world."

As Martha steps down, what kind of order will her business be in?

For now, some shoppers and several big-name companies are standing by Martha Stewart's business.

The home-decorating-and-cooking guru yesterday stepped down as CEO of her company after being charged with investment fraud. Stewart is keeping a creative role in the firm.

The question now is, will her multi million-dollar business survive?

Some shoppers today say they like her goods, regardless of her arrest. And there is support from some corporations.

Campbell's Soup says it will keep advertising in her magazine, K-Mart is praising Stewart's products and Sears-Canada stores are still launching a Martha Stewart line this fall.

There are signs of problems, though, magazine ad and subscription renewals overall are significantly down for the company.


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