Human Capital & Careers

Martha’s Bonus Reflects MSO Performance

The half-million Martha Stewart received is more than her contractual minimum, but considerably less than in previous years.
Stephen TaubMay 3, 2004

Martha Stewart may have resigned as chief executive officer of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. (MSO) last June, but that didn’t stop the company from awarding her a $500,000 bonus last year — $200,000 above the minimum.

Stewart’s employment contract guarantees her at least a $300,000 annual bonus, according to Reuters. The wire service noted, however, that her bonus was $680,600 in 2002 and $1.16 million in 2001.

MSO reported its first operating loss last year, reported Reuters, which added that the company’s compensation committee cited “corporate performance” as a major factor in the “reduced level of compensation paid to Ms. Stewart.”

Stewart, who is awaiting sentencing after being convicted of lying about her sale of stock in ImClone Systems, received a salary of $900,000 for the year. She also received “other” compensation worth more than $128,000, including $100,000 for her share of the cost of tax preparation services provided by the company to senior executive officers.

Stewart’s total compensation package for 2003: more than $1.5 million.

Stewart resigned as CEO on June 4 last year, shortly after her indictment. She continued to serve as chief creative officer until March 2004, when she assumed the non-officer position of founding editorial director.