Herbalife: Michael Johnson (CEO)
Why this is a big quit:
Michael Johnson took the lead at Herbalife in 2003 as only the second permanent CEO. The sudden death of Herbalife’s founder and first CEO, Mark Hughes, caused a series of short-lived interim CEOs. Johnson, a fitness enthusiast from Walt Disney, was enticed by the idea of leading a nutrition company. He is known within the organization for his rapport with staff and distributors and his charismatic leadership. Under his leadership, Herbalife annual net sales quadrupled from $1.1 billion to over $4 billion and significantly expanded their operations into 94 countries. Johnson is also responsible for shifting the focus from just weight-loss to nutrition and fitness as well. Why this is not as big as the top 10: While his departure is
Why this is not as big as the top 10:
While his departure is considerable change for the organization, there is too much scrutiny around the business practices of multi-level marketing (MLM) companies, such as Herbalife. Johnson, spent the past 2 years defending Herbalife to short-selling hedge funds, and an FTC investigation into whether the organization is a pyramid scheme, which ultimately resulted in a $200 million settlement in July. It also forced structural and marketing changes aimed at making the organization less resemble a pyramid scheme. Finally, Johnson’s contributions will transition very slowly, staying on as Executive Chairman after the COO takes over in June of 2017.