Pershing Square Issues Profile on Top Herbalife Distributor, Member of Board, John Tartol
On Herbalife's (NYSE: HLF) Fourth Quarter conference call on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, CEO Michael Johnson attempted to deflect attention from stinging criticism of the company's business model. He suggested there is:
a very small minority of current or former distributors and a past disgruntled employee or two who will paint the company's practices as bad, so that people will think that bad behavior and the practices of a few are somehow representative of the whole. Of course, any company as large as Herbalife and with as many members may have a few bad actors. From my point of view, even one bad actor or disgruntled employee is one too many.
Pershing Square Capital Management, L.P. believes Mr. Johnson's statement to be untrue. Based upon its research and documentation, Pershing Square believes that deception is pervasive in Herbalife's scheme, reaching to the top of the pyramid, its senior-most executives, and its Board of Directors. John Tartol, a 32-year veteran of Herbalife, a member of its Chairman's Club since 2000, and a member of Herbalife's 13-person Board of Directors since 2005, is a prime example.
Tartol is not a rogue “bad actor,” in Mr. Johnson's phrase. In fact, Mr. Tartol is someone Mr. Johnson has relied on since he joined the company, according to an interview Herbalife itself published at the time.
Q. What's your plan of action for the first 90 days? A. During my first few months as CEO, it's my goal to meet as many
Distributors as possible so that I better understand our business. I
need to get close to our products. In fact, Chairman's Club member
John Tartol and Dr. Jamie McManus are personally training me.
In-depth profiles of Tartol and others, which include extensive links documenting the allegations, are available on www.herbalifepyramidscheme.com. A synopsis of key points on Tartol follows this press release. These profiles are part of an ongoing series about top Herbalife distributors and executives released by Pershing Square on its website www.herbalifepyramidscheme.com. The series also includes profiles of the following senior distributors:
- Shawn Dahl, a 14-year Herbalife veteran, a member of the Chairman's Club until June 2013, and a top distributor in recent years;
- Doran Andry, a 22-year Herbalife veteran, a member of the Chairman's Club, and a top distributor in recent years;
- Leslie Stanford, a 33-year Herbalife veteran, a member of the Founder's Circle, and former member of the Board of Directors (2002-2005);
- And others to come.
The Founder's Circle includes the top 8-9 distributors in Herbalife's scheme. The Chairman's Club includes the next 50-60 distributors in Herbalife's scheme. It is impossible to know precisely how many are in the Chairman's Club because the relevant webpage on Herbalife's site has been offline since April 2013, bearing the legend: “System is currently undergoing scheduled maintenance.” The President's Team includes the next most senior distributors below Chairman's Club in Herbalife's scheme.
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