Oprah Winfrey's Departure From WeightWatchers Board Causes Shares to Fall by 29%

By Trisha Andrada

Feb 29, 2024 05:30 AM EST

Oprah Winfrey's announcement that she was leaving WeightWatchers International, Inc.'s board has made its shares tumbling, bringing a further setback to the company's efforts to stay relevant in the era of weight-loss drugs. 

According to Bloomberg, Winfrey confirmed on Wednesday that she would not seek re-election at the board's shareholder meeting in May. She has been a member since 2015.

Nonetheless, Winfrey said in a statement that she will keep working with WeightWatchers, "in elevating the conversation around recognizing obesity as a chronic condition." 

Winfrey further noted that she plans to donate her financial interest in WeightWatchers to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC. This comes after Winfrey recently admitted to using popular weight-loss medicines as a "maintenance tool."

(Photo : FREDERIC J. BROWN / AFP via Getty Images)
US television host and producer Oprah Winfrey arrives for the world premiere of "The Color Purple" at the Academy Museum in Los Angeles, December 6, 2023.

WeightWatchers' Latest Blow 

After the US markets closed, WeightWatchers shares dropped as much as 29% in trade following Oprah Winfrey's announcement. The stock will reach a new record low if the current trading trend continues until Thursday. 

WeightWatchers' efforts to reverse years of falling sales have been unsuccessful, as the company's predicted 2024 revenue fell short of Wall Street projections.

Zepbound, made by Eli Lilly & Co., and Wegovy, made by Novo Nordisk, are two weight-loss injections causing WeightWatchers to struggle to retain consumers of Ozempic drug.

When WeightWatchers bought a telemedicine business to market popular obesity medications, it essentially abandoned its full-throttle commitment to lifestyle change. A recent marketing event with social media influencers also garnered criticism for the business.

Read Also: Revolutionizing Telemedicine: Doc.com's Approach to Make Healthcare Free for Every American

Oprah Winfrey and WeightWatchers

Oprah Winfrey has been associated with the firm for almost 10 years. The powerful talk show presenter and entrepreneur, who has a long history of openly struggling with her weight, signed an agreement with WeightWatchers in 2015. 

In response to an approach from WeightWatchers, Winfrey purchased a 10% interest and became a board member. An advertisement featured her boasting about the 40 pounds she dropped while praising the program's adaptability. Her support lent legitimacy to the firm among her many fans.

Read More: US Study Discovers 275 Million New Genetic Variants That Can Significantly Improve Drug Development

© 2024 VCPOST, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

Join the Conversation

Real Time Analytics