Weight Watchers International Poaches HSN’s CEO

Mindy Grossman, the chief executive officer of HSN is departing the television and digital shopping firm to join Weight Watchers International Inc in the same capacity. Her tenure at Weight Watchers begins in July while her resignation from HSN takes effect on May 24.

“Mindy is proven as a successful visionary and entrepreneurial force in business and I look forward to working with her. She has the experience, the passion and the positive energy to take Weight Watchers to exciting new places,” said Oprah Winfrey, a Weight Watchers board member and investor in a statement.

Excited by the opportunity

On receiving the news, Grossman admitted that she was excited by the new appointment and looked forward to helping rejuvenate the Weight Watchers brand and accelerate growth all while helping people lead happier and healthier lives.

At HSN one of Grossman’s more notable accomplishments includes forging a partnership between the home shopping retailer and Disney to sell Beauty and the Beast merchandise. Additionally, she has invested in demystifying technology products and helping make them relatable to shoppers. In 2008, Grossman also led in HSN’s public listing efforts.

Retail guru

At the $4 billion retailer that was previously known as Home Shopping Network, Grossman has been the CEO since 2008. Prior to that she had worked with other retail brands in executive roles. This includes working at Oxford Industries, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren and Nike. Grossman’s combined years of experience dealing with consumer brands is over 38. The winner of the Fortune’s 2014 Business Person of the Year Award also chairs the board of National Retail Federation.

Before Grossman joins Weight Watchers, Nicholas Hotchkin, the interim chief executive officer will continue in that capacity. Hotchkin took over from James Chambers who departed following three years at the helm during which results of the firm swung wildly in the face of a turnaround effort.

Free programs

Last month, Weight Watchers revenues for the fourth quarter rose by 3% to reach a figure of $267 million. The company also disclosed that the growth rate for subscribers was 10% year over year. The turnaround has been attributed to the company’s relationship with Oprah Winfrey, the ex-talk show host, who acquired a 10% equity stake in 2015. Winfrey has also been a staunch advocate of the program. However the company has faced challenges especially on the digital front as many free apps offering similar service have made it difficult for Weight Watchers to generate revenue from its programs.

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