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Oprah Winfrey Announces She's Leaving WeightWatchers' Board, Company Stock Plummets The news comes just months after Winfrey admitted to using weight loss medication to aid her health journey.

By Emily Rella

entrepreneur daily
Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Recording Academy
Oprah Winfrey speaks onstage during the 66th GRAMMY Awards at Crypto.com Arena on February 04, 2024 in Los Angeles, California.

Oprah Winfrey's very public and decades-long weight loss (and gain) journey has been televised and followed closely by fans and the media alike. In 2015, she even became WeightWatcher's majority stakeholder.

But now, on Wednesday, it was announced that the 70-year-old self-made billionaire would be leaving the Board of Directors of the weight loss program after nearly a decade.

The decision comes just months after Winfrey shared with People magazine that she was using a weight-loss medication to aid her in her weight maintenance in addition to regular exercise and lifestyle changes.

Related: WeightWatchers Buys Telehealth Startup to Prescribe Ozempic

"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," Winfrey said of her decision to start taking medication. "I'm absolutely done with the shaming from other people and particularly myself."

In Wednesday's announcement, Winfrey said that she would donate all of her future earnings from her stock in WeightWatchers to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, something WeightWatchers said was being done to rid "any perceived conflict of interest around her taking weight loss medications."

"Oprah has been an inspiring presence and passionate advocate for our members, providing critical insights and counsel that has helped shape WeightWatchers over these last 8 years," said Thilo Semmelbauer, chairman of the board of WeightWatchers, in a company release. "What I know for sure, we will dearly miss her presence on the Board."

In December, WeightWatchers announced that it would be launching WeightWatchers Clinic, a virtual medical clinic available to customers for an additional $99 month that gives weight-loss hopefuls access to Telehealth doctors that can help prescribe weight-loss medications like the recently popular Wegovy.

The launch came following the company's March 2023 acquisition of telehealth company Sequence.

Related: Howard Stern Slams Oprah Winfrey's Display of Wealth

"We are trying to lead the conversation around obesity and get people thinking about not just lifestyle interventions, but also clinical solutions like medications," WeightWatchers CEO Sima Sistani told TIME.

WeightWatchers plummeted nearly 24% in a 24-hour period upon the news of Winfrey's departure.

Emily Rella

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior News Writer

Emily Rella is a Senior News Writer at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, she was an editor at Verizon Media. Her coverage spans features, business, lifestyle, tech, entertainment, and lifestyle. She is a 2015 graduate of Boston College and a Ridgefield, CT native. Find her on Twitter at @EmilyKRella.

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