Wenda Harris Millard Departs MSLO to Join Media Advisory Firm

wenda-mslo.JPGWenda Harris Millard has stepped down as president of media and co-CEO at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSLO), not quite two years after joining the company in that ambiguous role.

Millard goes to Media Link, a media representation and strategic advisory firm where she’ll serve as president.

While at MSLO, Millard advocated for digital media as a component of the media mix. Her impassioned 2008 plea that media companies must “not trade our assets like pork bellies” articulated the growing tension between old- and new-school approaches to packaging media.

Before joining MSLO she led sales at Yahoo, overseeing what at the time was probably the largest digital ad sales organization in the U.S. She previously held top posts at DoubleClick and ZDNet.

MSLO said it has no plans to replace Millard. Instead Chairman Charles Koppelman will take over the company’s media business, and Martha herself will rule the creative and editorial side of the business. The company’s other CEO, Robin Marino, oversees merchandising.

“Wenda has been a champion of Martha’s groundbreaking Omnimedia vision on which this company was built,” Koppelman said. “She has been an effective leader of a very talented team as we’ve expanded our franchises and grown our cross-platform programs.”

Before joining in her executive role, Millard served on MSLO’s board. Many analysts and commentators were skeptical when the company hired her as part of a plan to divide management control between two CEOs. Questions about the viability of the arrangement intensified when The New York Post reported last year that Millard and the company’s namesake were not hitting it off.

“It’s no secret that Martha isn’t the easiest person to work for… It wouldn’t be the end of the world if [Millard] were to leave,” an informed source told the Post at the time.

The company’s statement today gave no indication that acrimonious relations between senior executives played a role in Millard’s departure.

“We’ve built an agile team and a strong foundation for future growth,” Millard said.

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