Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop Hires Former Martha Stewart Living CEO

Lisa Gersh is Goop's New CEO

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Martha Stewart told a magazine that Gwyneth Paltrow
Martha Stewart told a magazine that Gwyneth Paltrow

Martha Stewart had some harsh words for Gwyneth Paltrow last month, telling Net-A-Porter's Porter magazine that the actress -- who founded her own website and lifestyle brand, Goop, in 2008 -- should, more or less, shut up.

"She just needs to be quiet," Ms. Stewart said, according to the New York Post. "She's a movie star. If she were confident in her acting, she wouldn't be trying to be Martha Stewart."

The remarks prompted media outlets to declare a war between the lifestyle gurus. Now Ms. Paltrow's Goop has hired Lisa Gersh, the former president and CEO of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, or MSLO, to serve as its chief executive officer.

Ms. Gersh is charged with furthering Goop's transition from the digital world to the physical world, the company said Monday, with plans to expand its collaborations with designers and eventually roll out its own label. Pop-up stores and live events are also expected, according to the company.

"She's the perfect person to build on the momentum we have already created at Goop, and to diversify our opportunities to bring Goop's positive energy directly to consumers in what they read, what they try, what they buy and how they live," Ms. Paltrow said of Ms. Gersh in a statement.

Ms. Gersh succeeds Seb Bishop, a former ad agency art director, who resigned as Goop's CEO earlier this year. A media veteran, Ms. Gersh co-founded Oxygen Media and held prominent roles at NBC and The Weather Channel. She joined MSLO as president and COO in 2011 and was named CEO in July 2012, but left the company less than one year after taking the helm.

"Gwyneth Paltrow and her team took an inspired idea and turned it into a multi-platform lifestyle brand with a large and devoted audience," Ms. Gersh said in a statement. "As a fan since its launch, I've admired the inimitable voice and style Gwyneth has infused into Goop, and the business she's built."

"It's rare to work with such an inspired founder and a digitally native company, a brand that thinks digitally from an organic point-of-view and successfully fuses content and revenue-generating retail," she added.

Goop's plans for a hybrid business combining publishing with merchandise resembles that of MSLO, which publishes Martha Stewart Living and Martha Stewart Weddings magazines as well as the website MSLO also sells merchandise and produces "Martha Stewart's Cooking School" for PBS. But the company is in the midst of a rebuilding effort after a bruising round of layoffs in December that cost about a hundred jobs, or roughly one-third of the company's staff. It has sought to grow its footprint -- and its revenue -- online, where upstarts including Goop compete for eyeballs, ad dollars and consumers.

The publicly traded MSLO swung to a quarterly profit in the three-month period ending June 30, thanks largely to cost-cutting measures. Revenue was $37.6 million, an 11% decline from the previous year.

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