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Oprah Winfrey Leaving WeightWatchers Board Amid Surge in Weight-Loss Drugs

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Oprah Winfrey Leaving WeightWatchers Board Amid Surge in Weight-Loss Drugs

Oprah Winfrey, after eight years on the board of WeightWatchers, has decided not to seek reelection at the company’s shareholder meeting in May. This move comes at a challenging time for the company, which is facing financial losses and fierce competition from weight-loss drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy. Winfrey expressed her commitment to continuing to raise awareness about obesity as a chronic condition and advocate for health equity despite stepping down from the board.

Following the announcement of Winfrey’s departure, share prices of the company, now known as WW International, dropped by more than 27 percent in post-market trading. The company reported a loss of over $88 million in 2023, more than double the previous year’s loss, as weight-loss companies struggle to compete with the increasing popularity of injectable drugs. The effectiveness of weight-loss drugs in managing conditions like obesity and diabetes has led to a surge in demand, prompting concerns about potential side effects and ethical implications.

Despite the challenges faced by WeightWatchers, Winfrey’s decision to donate her stock in the company to the National Museum of African American History and Culture showcases her commitment to philanthropy. The board expressed support for Winfrey’s choice and thanked her for her contributions during her tenure. As the company navigates a changing landscape of weight-loss solutions, the departure of Winfrey marks a significant transition in its leadership and strategic direction.

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