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Michael O Johnson and Herbalife: A Marriage Made in Heaven?

Michael O Johnson has been CEO of Herbalife since 2003

If Herbalife were looking to embody their aims and ambitions in one man, they have found the ideal person in Michael O Johnson. A model of good health and financial success, Johnson is the perfect role-model for all Herbalife distributors and prospects. For a company which aims to ‘improve the health and financial well-being of others’, Michael O Johnson seems to have been born for the role. This article will examine the life and achievements of Herbalife’s CEO, and ask: ‘Just who is Michael O Johnson?’

Herbalife Before Johnson: The Good, The Bad And the Ugly
Under the leadership of founder Mark Hughes, Herbalife had become a hugely successful and profitable company, however they were plagued by controversy surrounding the quality of their products, the structure of their business and the integrity of Hughes himself. Hughes’ death at the age of 44 from a suspected drug overdose did little to enhance the reputation of Herbalife amongst its detractors, although Hughes remained a hero to the company’s loyal supporters.

Michael O Johnson Arrives At Herbalife
It was three years after Hughes’ death that Michael O Johnson was recruited from The Walt Disney Company as Chief Executive Officer of Herbalife. Johnson carried a Batchelor of Arts in Political Science from Western State College, and had been at Disney since 1986, where he

was established. nowhere less so than with the products themselves. Los Angeles (UCLA) to set up aCellular and Molecular Nutrition Laboratory bearing the name of Herbalife’s late founder. swimming and cycling – as one of the key factors motivating his decision to join Herbalife. Fox News and CNBC. Johnson continues to take great pride in the science which he believes underpins his company’s products. who achieved 15% of the vote. Mark Hughes. the company awarded a grant to the University of California. amongst other things. and saw its stock soar by 124% in just 52 weeks. taking an incredible 55% of the vote. Johnson’s hard work was officially recognised when he beat some of America’s best-known CEOs to win the Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch Reader’s Choice CEO of the Year award. however. What better way to prove the effectiveness of your products than by showing your top man to be using them. Even Ignarro’s stunning scientific achievements were not enough to shelter him from criticism. His appointment was a masterstroke. Johnson cited his passion for triathlon – running. Under Fire: Johnson Stands Firm Under Michael O Johnson’s leadership. is no shrinking violet. Further. and some of the products he has pioneered for Johnson have continued to be slaughtered by critics. Johnson. His vote dwarfed runner-up.worked as president of Buena Vista Home Entertainment. however Herbalife still struggled to shake off critisicm about the health risks associated with their products. A New Era For Herbalife Johnson immediately set about implementing improvements within the company. who gained 9% to come in third. a Nutrition Advisory Board. and he was commended for . Apple’s Steven Jobs. Accusations of pyramid selling and suggestions that their products contained a dangerous volume of lead prompted Johnson to make a number of high-profile defences of Herbalife on. Herbalife doubled its net sales. Upon his appointment. and Google’s Eric Schmidt. In December 2005. and strict quality control procedures were introduced. which included Nobel Prize-winning scientist Louis Ignarro. and thriving with them? Johnson himself described the job as mixing ‘a personal passion with a business passion’. In the same year that he joined Herbalife. and the controversy surrounding their multi-level structure.

. He remains very pro-active in his defence of the company.putting his neck on the block to answer difficult questions about Herbalife. and is determined to make Herbalife one of the biggest and most respected companies in the world.

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