- Weight Watchers is rebranding itself as WW, with a focus on wellness.
- Oprah Winfrey owns 10 percent of what is now WW.
- Oprah’s $43.5 million investment is now worth over $400 million.
Weight Watchers has long been known for being a rather public way to diet. The company has 4.5 million members, 1.6 million of whom attend meetings.
Now, Weight Watchers is losing the “weight” from its name as it focuses on wellness. The company will now be known as WW as it tries to rebrand itself beyond just weight loss. The company’s new tagline is “Wellness that works.”
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Oprah Winfrey bought $43.5 million in Weight Watchers stock, which represented a 10 percent stake in the company, in October 2015. That stock is now worth over $400 million. Winfrey is on the board of the company and appears in its commercials, and she is credited with at least some of the company’s recent success.
Will Oprah stick with the newly rebranded company, or will she take the money and run? Winfrey’s net worth is estimated at $3.2 billion, and she makes $300 million a year, so her investment in WW represents about 16 months’ salary for her. That said, it represents over 12 percent of her net worth.
It’s unlikely she’ll dump the stock. When Oprah bought the Weight Watchers stock in 2015, its stock benefitted from her association with a huge jump. It’s continued to gain ground since then, but it’s likely that the stock would take a big dive if Oprah sold her shares.
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Another reason she’s unlikely to get out is that Oprah has fought her own public battle with weight over the years and has come to the same conclusion as Weight Watchers: It’s more about being healthy than being skinny.
WW stock was down over 2 percent on Sept. 27 as investors tried to process the effects of the rebranding.
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