Weight loss leader Nutrisystem has announced a major organizational change today. According to a press release we received from the company, Dawn M. Zier will be assuming the role of president and CEO, replacing Joe Redling, who announced he’d be stepping down in April of this year. She will also be fulfilling his place on the board of directors. Zier will become the company’s first female CEO.
Ms. Zier has a start date of November 15, 2012; while Mr. Redling will exit the company on November 9, 2012 throughout he release of Nutrisystem’s third-quarter financial results. David Clark, Nutrisystem’s CFO, will be the interim CFO during the gap. Earnings so far have been modest for the brand, as in both Q1 and Q2 the Nutrisystem board of directors declared a 17.5 cent per-share value.
“I think this will have a short-term, if small, positive effect on the stock price and a longer-term hopeful trend up as shareholders process this,” Sarah Gilbert told us, a financial blogger with Wall Street experience.
John LaRosa, with 20 years of experience tracking and analyzing diet programs at MarketData, told us “NutriSystem is still struggling in terms of sales. I think their [Q2] report was for guidance of very moderate growth for the year 2012. Maybe Joe Redling has read the writing on the wall and wanted to get out before a disappointing Q3 earnings report came out.” LaRosa also mentioned that the company’s head of marketing left Nutrisystem last year for ServiceMaster.
In the company’s press release about her hiring, Zier outlines what looks like an aggressive job description that will make her popular with the board of directors and customers, too.
“Joining Nutrisystem is a wonderful opportunity for me personally, and the logical next step in my career,” said Ms. Zier in the press release. “The company has a strong portfolio of products that help consumers lose weight, improve their health, and live better lives. It has significant name recognition as a result of several decades of marketing investment in the brand. And it’s universally seen as one of the leaders in the weight loss sector.”
Any question about what her direction at Nutrisystem will be was made clear in her statement that the meal-delivery service can expect a lot of positively-driven change in the coming months and years. “With a fresh and creative approach to the consumer, a thoughtful eye to new product development, and a careful effort to contain costs, I believe we can improve financial performance and build shareholder value,” said Zier.
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