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Oprah Winfrey’s departure from WeightWatchers sends stocks tumbling | Radio-Canada News


Former talk show host Oprah Winfrey is leaving the board of directors of WeightWatchers and donating millions of dollars of stock in the weight management company to charity, the company announced Thursday, sending its shares tumbling at the start of the session.

The departure of the media icon and famous shareholder, a member of the board of directors since 2015, comes at a time when WeightWatchers is struggling to turn a profit. The stock fell nearly 23.2 percent Thursday morning and has lost more than half its value so far this year.

“I look forward to continuing to advise and collaborate with WeightWatchers and CEO Sima Sistani to elevate the conversation about recognizing obesity as a chronic disease, working to reduce stigma, and advocating for health equity. health,” Winfrey said.

Winfrey will donate her WW shares to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, helping to “eliminate any perceived conflicts of interest surrounding her use of weight-loss medications,” the health services company announced Wednesday. weightloss.

It owned 1.13 million shares worth $6.34 million as of Jan. 1, according to data from the London Stock Exchange Group. According to FactSet, Winfrey’s stake made her the company’s largest individual shareholder.

A hand in the lower left corner holds a smartphone horizontally, with the "Weight Watchers" logo in blue on white screen.
This image shows the WeightWatchers logo on a mobile phone and the company’s website in New York on Tuesday, March 7, 2023. Nearly a year ago, WeightWatchers announced it would also enter the drug business prescription for weight loss with a $106 million deal. to buy Sequence, a telehealth provider with approximately $25 million in annual revenue and approximately 24,000 members. (Richard Drew/Associated Press)

WW International said in a regulatory filing that Winfrey’s decision “was not the result of any disagreement with the company on any matter relating to the company’s operations, policies or practices.” The size of its board of directors will increase from 10 to nine members following its annual meeting, the New York company added.

The company suffers from concerns about growth prospects (analyst)

The New York-based company’s shares also suffered from “heightened concerns” about its growth prospects and liquidity, said Stephanie Davis, an analyst at Barclays.

Nearly a year ago, WeightWatchers announced that it was also getting into the prescription weight-loss drug business with a $106 million deal to buy Sequence, a telehealth provider with revenue of annual business of approximately $25 million and approximately 24,000 members.

The stock more than doubled in value last year on hopes of a boost from the acquisition.

But the company’s 2024 sales forecast of between US$830 million and US$860 million – which is lower than analysts’ expectations of US$896.2 million – have somewhat dashed those hopes.


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