BOSTON, June 5 (Reuters) - Mark Friedman, Herbalife Ltd’s general counsel who signed the nutrition and supplement company’s 2016 settlement with U.S. regulators about deceiving investors, no longer holds that position, according to company documents and a person familiar with the development.
Friedman's name was not listed on the company's public Website (here) after it was updated last week to show that Richard Goudis had become chief executive while Michael Johnson, the former CEO, had been named executive chairman. Previously Friedman had been listed as executive vice president, general counsel and secretary.
Companies often publicly disclose when their chief legal counsel departs, but Herbalife has not yet reported anything on Friedman. A person familiar with Friedman said he was still working at the company but was concentrating on special projects.
Efforts to contact Friedman directly were unsuccessful. A spokesman for Herbalife declined to comment.
In July 2016 Herbalife agreed with the Federal Trade Commission to restructure its U.S. business operations and pay $200 million to settle charges that it deceived customers into believing they could earn substantial amounts of money selling Herbalife products.
The settlement also required Herbalife to pay participants for the products they sell, rather than for the new recruits they bring in.
Friedman joined Herbalife in 2013, according to his LinkedIn profile.
In a recent regulatory filing, the company warned investors that changes in management could affect results.
“Our reliance upon, or the loss or departure of any member of, our senior management team which could negatively impact our member relations and operating results,” it said in an 8-K filing made in early May, using language common to corporate filings.
The company has been tangling with hedge fund manager William Ackman ever since the billionaire investor in 2012 put on a $1 billion short bet against Herbalife, calling the company a fraud and saying it’s stock price would tumble to zero.
It traded at $69.39 on Monday, off 6 percent after the company said second-quarter sales would fall more than expected. (Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Scott Malone and Steve Orlofsky)