America’s Richest Black Woman, Oprah Winfrey Resigns from Weight Watchers Board

Oprah Winfrey, regarded as America’s and the world’s wealthiest Black woman, has announced her resignation from the board of Weight Watchers International, Inc. after over a decade of service. The move comes after she recently revealed that she had started taking weight-loss medication.

Weight Watchers, a $251 million global firm, provides weight loss and maintenance services. Winfrey’s exit marks a turning point for the firm as it deals with the impact of losing one of its most important individuals, both in business and philanthropy.

Winfrey, who joined the board in 2015 after acquiring a 10% investment in Weight Watchers, announced her decision not to seek reelection at the forthcoming annual shareholder meeting in May 2024. Her departure signals the end of a decade-long relationship with the multinational weight-loss organization.

Winfrey’s decision to integrate weight-loss medicine into her regimen, announced in December 2023, represented a departure from the normal discourse about weight control.

In an interview with People Magazine, she emphasized the comfort of having medically approved alternatives, saying, “I now use it when necessary, as a tool to avoid fluctuations.” This demonstrates her commitment to advancing health equity.

In a deliberate move to avoid potential conflicts of interest, Winfrey revealed her plan to donate her Weight Watchers stake, which consists of around 1.13 million shares valued at $3.58 million, to the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC).

Weight Watchers’ share price fell sharply due to investor concerns about the departure of a key person.

According to Weight Watchers’ filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Winfrey’s contractual obligations prevent her from working with other weight management companies for the duration of her association and one year after her departure, highlighting the legal constraints surrounding her exit.



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