The New Skinny on WW: Healthy Eating Means Fatter Profits

January 8, 2019, 6:55 PM UTC

Mindy Grossman kicked off 2019 by ringing the opening bell at the Nasdaq market site in New York’s Times Square. Just days earlier, this was the very site where crowds watched the ball dropping to ring in the New Year. Now, the CEO of WW, the company formerly known as Weight Watchers, used the popular venue to promote a new campaign called “Wellness that Works for Every Body.” Giant video screens featured celebrities like Kate Hudson and DJ Khaled, and yes, Oprah Winfrey, encouraging people to get healthy in 2019.

Grossman is betting that wellness, not dieting, will help develop healthy eating habits and also healthy profits at the New York-based company.

“In today’s world people want healthy habits that integrate into their life,” Grossman explains. “They want to know how to eat better, they want to know how to move better, they want to know how their mindset is going to help them, they want to be motivated and they want the power of community. And we give them all that.”

Grossman, who is known for turning around the Home Shopping Network television channel, became CEO of WW in 2017. Since she took the top job, she says subscriber growth and retention rates are the highest in the company’s 55-year history. She says WW is on track to post revenues of $2 billion by the end of 2020—a significant boost from the $1.3 billion the company reported in 2017.

But WW stock (WTW) is anemic by comparison. Shares hit a high of $102 last summer, but have tumbled nearly 70 percent since then.

“The best thing we can do is perform,” says Grossman. “The thing that I continue to do is to educate the market on the seasonality of our business and what that looks like. And the more we can educate, the more we can inform and the more we can execute, that’s what we need to do.”

Watch the video above for more from my interview with Grossman.


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