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Report: Oprah Winfrey Takes $117M Loss as Weight Watchers Stock Tanks

Weight loss company Weight Watchers International Inc. has reportedly seen $1.2 billion in value disappear over the last 11 months — leaving major shareholder and media mogul Oprah Winfrey with a staggering $117 million personal loss over the same time frame.

The New York City-based weight loss company’s shares took another hit Tuesday after news circulated about the resignation of its CEO, James Chambers, according to USA Today.

Winfrey, who purchased 10 percent of the company in October 2015, is reportedly leveraging her position on the Weight Watchers board to lobby for major management changes.

Weight Watchers stock prices doubled last year when Winfrey became the company’s third-largest investor. She was also given a seat on the company’s board of directors.

“Shares soared 169% in just two days to $18.25 after the announcement of Oprah’s involvement on Oct. 19, 2015, turning into a tidy two-day profit for Winfrey of $73 million,” USA Today reported. “That doesn’t include the paper gains from 3.5 million additional shares she could buy by exercising options. The enthusiasm for the company continued up until November 2015 when the stock hits its high of $28.05 a shares. All told, the value of Weight Watchers soared $1.4 billion in the months following Winfrey’s involvement.”

However, nearly a year later, excitement over the media mogul’s involvement in the company has subsided significantly. While the company’s stock is still higher than it was when Winfrey took on a larger role, the company lost $10.8 million in the first quarter and revenues are flat in the second quarter when compared to last year.

Winfrey’s net worth is estimated to be $2.9 billion, according to Forbes.

Market Watch reports that Weight Watchers Chief Financial Officer Nicholas Hotchkin and board members Thilo Semmelbauer and Christopher Sobecki will run the company while a search for a new CEO is underway.

 

Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter: @JeromeEHudson

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