Oprah Winfrey and Weight Watchers International, Inc. have made a business deal. In sealing their long-term partnership, Winfrey is making a substantial equity investment (10% to be precise) in the company and is joining the Board of Directors, bringing her insight to future products and programs.
"Weight Watchers has given me the tools to begin to make the lasting shift that I and so many of us who are struggling with weight have longed for," said Oprah Winfrey. "I believe in the program so much I decided to invest in the company and partner in its evolution."
"We are expanding our purpose from focusing on weight loss alone to more broadly helping people lead a healthier, happier life," said Jim Chambers, President and CEO, Weight Watchers International, Inc. "Through our conversations, it became clear that there is tremendous alignment between Oprah's intention and our mission. We believe that her remarkable ability to connect and inspire people to realize their full potential is uniquely complementary to our powerful community, extraordinary coaches and proven approach."
Winfrey's roles at Weight Watchers will include:
- Member – Winfrey has joined the program and will candidly share her experiences and perspective along the way.
- Board Member and Adviser – Winfrey will bring insight and strategy to program development and execution that reflects not only her own experiences as a member, but also her unique ability to inspire and connect people to live their best lives.
- Owner – Winfrey will purchase newly issued shares representing 10% of the shares outstanding and will receive options to acquire an additional 5% of the fully diluted shares.
"Weight Watchers and Oprah Winfrey make a powerful combination," said Ray Debbane, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Weight Watchers International, Inc. "Oprah is a force of nature in connecting with people on a very personal level to live inspired lives. This partnership will accelerate our transformation and will meaningfully expand our ability to impact many millions of people worldwide."