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Oprah Winfrey exits WeightWatchers board, stocks plummet greater than 25%

Oprah Winfrey introduced Wednesday that she is going to release her function at the WeightWatchers board of administrators, best two months then the controversy demonstrate host publicly obvious she was once taking a weight-loss healing.

Winfrey, who has for the latter 9 years been extensively thought to be the face of WeightWatchers, joined the corporate’s board of administrators in 2015. A press release from WeightWatchers stated Winfrey, 70, made up our minds to not rise for re-election.

The announcement of Winfrey’s escape despatched WeightWatchers stocks plummeting. Throughout premarket buying and selling on Thursday, stocks within the weight-loss corporate plunged greater than 25 according to cent.

Winfrey pledged to donate her WeightWatchers secure to the Nationwide Museum of African American Historical past and Tradition (NMAAHC) in Washington, D.C. The debate-show wealthy person owns a ten according to cent stake within the corporate.

“I look forward to continuing to advise and collaborate with WeightWatchers and CEO Sima Sistani in elevating the conversation around recognizing obesity as a chronic condition, working to reduce stigma, and advocating for health equity,” Winfrey stated in a commentary.

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“Weight Health is a critically important topic and one that needs to be addressed at a broader scale. I plan to participate in a number of public forums and events where I will be a vocal advocate in advancing this conversation.”

The WeightWatchers board of administrators stated it’s “supportive” of Winfrey’s determination to donate her secure within the corporate. The board wrote that Winfrey’s attempt in donating her stocks to NMAAHC is to “highlight the contributions of African Americans and to eliminate any perceived conflict of interest around her taking weight loss medications.”

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In December 2023, Winfrey told People magazine she was once the usage of an unnamed weight-loss drug as a “maintenance tool” for her fluctuating weight. The disclosure got here then Winfrey’s social media fans speculated that the celebrity could also be taking Ozempic or some other matching healing.

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Winfrey instructed Population she made the verdict to hurry a healing that induces weight reduction then being “blamed and shamed” for her weight throughout her 25-year occupation.

“I realized I’d been blaming myself all these years for being overweight, and I have a predisposition that no amount of willpower is going to control,” she stated. “Obesity is a disease. It’s not about willpower — it’s about the brain.”

Winfrey stated she “released my own shame” and reached out to her physician to inquire about healing choices.

“I now use it as I feel I need it, as a tool to manage not yo-yoing,” she stated. “The fact that there’s a medically approved prescription for managing weight and staying healthier, in my lifetime, feels like relief, like redemption, like a gift, and not something to hide behind and once again be ridiculed for.”

Along her healing, Winfrey stated she nonetheless makes use of the WeightWatchers point-counting method and beverages a gallon of aqua each and every presen.

Thilo Semmelbauer, chairman of the WeightWatchers board, stated Winfrey has been an “inspiring presence and passionate advocate” inside the group. He thanked Winfrey for her “energy, dedication, and for continuing to play a role as collaborator” with the logo.

Winfrey will donate her secure all the way through the corporate’s after buying and selling window in March.

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WeightWatchers’ unedited monetary file on Wednesday confirmed a complete lack of US$88.1 million within the corporate’s fourth quarter of 2023. WeightWatchers’ rude benefit for a similar quarter got here in at US$124.9 million.

Income for the entire 2023 fiscal yr reached US$889.6 million, virtually 15 according to cent not up to the yr prior, the corporate reported.

Closing yr, WeightWatchers dipped its toe within the weight-loss drug recreation and purchased Sequencea telehealth supplier that offer customers get admission to to medication worn to regard diabetes and weight problems, together with Ozempic.

Because of prevailing call for, the producers of a number of diabetes medication, together with Ozempic, have skilled shortages that experience endured into 2024.

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