World’s Richest Black Woman, Oprah Winfrey is Resigning from Weight Watchers

World’s richest black woman, Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey Resigns from Weight Watchers: A Significant Shift in the Company’s Direction.


Oprah Winfrey, renowned as the world’s wealthiest black woman with a staggering net worth of $2.8 billion according to Forbes, is bidding farewell to her nearly decade-long tenure on the board of Weight Watchers. This announcement marks a pivotal moment in her association with the renowned weight management company.

A titan in the entertainment industry, Winfrey’s decision to step down comes after her revelation about integrating a weight-loss medication into her personal regimen. She conveyed her intention to abstain from seeking reelection at the forthcoming annual shareholders’ meeting in May 2024.

Since her substantial acquisition of a 10% stake in the company back in 2015, Winfrey has been a driving force on the board, offering invaluable insights and strategic guidance. In a recent statement, she expressed her eagerness to maintain an advisory role and collaboration with Weight Watchers and its CEO, Sima Sistani.

Winfrey emphasized her dedication to fostering discussions surrounding obesity recognition as a chronic condition, reducing stigma, and advocating for health equity.

Background Insight: In December 2023, Winfrey disclosed her adoption of a weight-loss medication, emphasizing the realization that effective weight management extends beyond individual self-control. She highlighted the relief and empowerment she feels in having a medically approved prescription for weight management.

Per the agreement between Winfrey and Weight Watchers, as outlined in the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Winfrey is restricted from engaging in any other weight loss or management ventures during her tenure with the company and for one year thereafter.

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Impact on Weight Watchers: Following Winfrey’s decision to step down, WW International, the parent company of Weight Watchers, witnessed a significant decline of over 20% in its shares. This departure will shrink the company’s board from 10 members to nine.

In a testament to her commitment to causes she champions, Winfrey has opted to donate her interest in Weight Watchers to the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). Weight Watchers’ board of directors has endorsed Winfrey’s proposal, aiming to highlight African American contributions while eliminating any perceived conflicts of interest regarding her medication use.

Looking Forward: Despite the stock’s decline, Winfrey remains resolute in her support for weight health initiatives. Plans are underway for an event in May 2024, co-hosted by Winfrey and Weight Watchers, focusing on destigmatizing weight-related discussions and promoting holistic health.

Thilo Semmelbauer, the chairman of WW International, expressed gratitude for Winfrey’s impactful advocacy and collaborative spirit over the years. He acknowledged her significant contributions and her absence will be felt deeply on the board.

In a strategic move to expand its offerings, Weight Watchers acquired Sequence, a telehealth subscription service specializing in weight management solutions including prescription drugs like Ozempic. This $106 million acquisition reflects Weight Watchers’ commitment to providing comprehensive solutions for its diverse audience.

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