Pamela Jones Harbour, the newly appointed compliance chief of Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) is willing to risk her reputation for the company despite the fact that it is facing regulatory investigations.
Harbour was a former commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) from 2003 to 2010. She was also a former prosecutor at the New York Attorney General’s office.
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In an interview with Bloomberg, Harbour said, “There have been times in my career where I’ve stuck my neck out, but I only will do that if I’m really confident of my own convictions and willing to live with the consequences. This is one such instance.”
Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) has been accused of running a pyramid scheme by activist investor Bill Ackman and several Latino civil rights organizations. The FTC and some Attorney Generals are investigating the company’s business operations. Ackman alleged that Herbalife is making profits by recruiting distributors instead of selling products.
Harbour is a customer Herbalife
Harbour is a customer of Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) years prior to her appointment. She bought her first Formula 1 weight-loss share powder from a family member during a reunion in 2004. She liked the product particularly the Cookies & Cream flavor. She bought more Formula 1 during their following reunions.
According to her, she became fully aware about Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) as the manufacturer of the Formula 1 shake not until she saw the news coverage of Ackman’s accusations, and checked the label of the product.
“This is absolutely a legitimate product because I’ve been using it,” that was her thought at the time. “I knew the product was a good one, but I wanted to look at some of the other attributes of the company,” said Harbour.
Harbour to focus on proactive compliance
In her role at Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF), Harbor said her immediate focus will be “proactive compliance,” which means close monitoring on the health and product claims of distributors and abnormal order patterns.
She emphasized that the company’s executives are committed to compliance, and she observed “substantial efforts” and “considerable investments.” According to her, “Compliance should be a part of a company’s culture, and I got that very strong sense when I was at Herbalife.”
“It is probably quite a challenge to have everyone rowing in the same direction even though that is the company’s mission and aspiration. One can always take a look at practices, and there can always be enhancements made,” added Harbour.
Herbalife Ltd, (NYSE:HLF) attracted bearish put activity due to the report that the FTC may take disciplinary against it, but unlikely to shut down its operations. Approximately 11,000 put options were traded before noon yesterday.