Weight Watchers (WTW) CEO to Resign

September 12, 2016 4:16 PM EDT

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Weight Watchers International, Inc. (NYSE: WTW) today announced that it is commencing a search for a new CEO to lead the next stage of the Company's growth. James Chambers has notified the Board of Directors of his resignation as Chief Executive Officer, effective September 30, 2016, and as a Director of the Company. In addition, Thilo Semmelbauer, who had previously served as Chief Operating Officer with Weight Watchers until 2008, has been elected to the Company's Board of Directors.

To lead the company until a permanent CEO is appointed, the Board announced the creation of an interim Office of the Chief Executive Officer. The three members of the Office of the CEO are Nicholas Hotchkin, Chief Financial Officer, Thilo Semmelbauer, Director, and Christopher Sobecki, Director.

Ray Debbane, Chairman of Weight Watchers Board of Directors stated, "On behalf of the entire Board of Directors, I would like to thank Jim for leading our turnaround and the transformation progress of the Company over the past three years. Under Jim's leadership we returned to member recruitment growth, transformed our technology platform, and introduced the new holistic Beyond the Scale program that we believe has great potential."

Chambers remarked, "I am proud of the team's accomplishments in returning the Company to growth through the successful launch of Beyond the Scale and our long-term partnership with Oprah Winfrey. I am confident that Weight Watchers has the right strategies to play a major role in helping to inspire and guide the healthier choices that transform people's lives."

Nicholas Hotchkin, CFO and interim Office of CEO member, stated, "We remain confident we will deliver revenue and earnings growth in 2016, and that Q3 will be our fourth consecutive quarter of year-over-year member recruitment growth. We are positioned to enter 2017 with a revenue and earnings tailwind. Thilo, Chris and I look forward to collaborating on the next steps of our transformation and the transition to a new CEO."

Debbane added, "The Board has established a search committee. Board members, including Oprah Winfrey and myself, will be actively involved in the search for a new CEO, and look forward to working with her or him in shaping the future of Weight Watchers."

Biographical Information on New Director

Thilo Semmelbauer has been involved in technology ventures for over 25 years. From 2010 to 2015 he served as President and COO of Shutterstock, a global marketplace for licensing images, videos, and music to businesses worldwide. From 2000 to 2004, Semmelbauer was part of the founding team of WeightWatchers.com, and later became Chief Operating Officer of Weight Watchers International from 2007-2008. He holds a dual master's degree from MIT, in Management and Electrical Engineering, from the Leaders for Global Operations program, as well as a B.A. in Engineering and Computer Science from Dartmouth College.

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