Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey’s PR bombshell decision not to run for re-election to Weight Watchers International’s board at its May 9 annual meeting magnifies the danger of signing a mega-celebrity to plug a product or service—even if that spokesperson is as beloved and admired as the actress/talk show host.

Since 2015, Winfrey has been the chief cheerleader of WWI. Her December “confession” about using weight-loss pills torpedoed the business model of WWI.

Any other WWI director or top official would have been fired for going public about weight loss pills.

Oprah was so important to WWI, her Feb. 26 notification to the company that she was not standing for re-election was featured in the “risk factors” section of its “Form 10-K” released Feb. 18.

The loss of Ms. Winfrey’s services or partnership with us for any reason (including as a result of her death or disability), any negative market or industry perception with respect to her or her participation in the Company’s programs, or the failure by Ms. Winfrey to provide services in her discretion to promote the Company, our programs, services and products or to consult with us and participate in developing, planning, executing and enhancing our programs and related initiatives, all in accordance with our strategic partnership arrangements with her, could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.”

WWI goes on to say that it has the exclusive right to use Winfrey’s name, image, likeness or endorsement for weight loss management programs for another year following her resignation as a director. That hardly matters.

There’s no way that WWI can continue to use Winfrey as its public face after her defection to weight loss pills. She is simply not with the WWI program.

There’s also the question about whether Winfrey will make a swan song appearance at the annual meeting.

She missed last year’s session due to a scheduling conflict. That 2023 meeting was an online affair.

Winfrey, perhaps, has bigger fish to fry than to serve as a board member at WWI.

Could the 70-year-old Oprah be contemplating a run for the presidency? She would be the spring chicken in the race against Joe Biden (81) and Donald Trump (77).

Exxon Mobil chief Darren Woods told Fortune the earth is burning because the world waited too long to invest in clean energy.

That’s pretty rich coming from the guy whose company for years sowed seeds of doubt about global heating, though its own scientists knew all along about the reasons for rising temperatures.

Woods argues that activists are trying to freeze the fossil fuel sector out of the effort to curb global heating.

He says only Big Oil can bankroll expensive carbon capture systems to prevent the emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

But the International Energy Agency says that claim is bunk. It released a report ahead of last year’s COP28 in Dubai, saying the oil majors are blowing hot air when they talk about carbon capture’s role in tackling global heating.

Fatih Birol, IEA executive director, said oil and gas producers must make profound decisions about their future place in the global energy sector.

They must let go “of the illusion that implausibly large amounts of carbon capture are the solution.”

IEA estimates that the fossil fuel companies would have to boost investment in carbon capture from the current total $4B to $3.5T annually through 2050 to reach the Paris Accord’s targets.

ExxonMobil only earned $36B on $344B in 2023 revenues. Those numbers show that carbon capture is but a dream.

Joe Biden’s supporters appear outwardly unperturbed that 13 percent of Michigan Democratic primary voters picked “uncommitted” over the president. They should put down the Kool-Aid.

Biden backers rightly note their guy faced an organized effort on behalf of “uncommitted.” There was no such drive in 2012 when 11 percent of Democrats voted “uncommitted” rather than for Barack Obama.

But an exit poll by the Council of American-Islamic Relations conducted of Michigan Muslims who voted in the Feb. 27 primary should put an end to Team Biden’s stupor.

More than nine-in-ten (94 percent) of Michigan Muslims voted uncommitted vs. 4.6 percent for Biden.

The poll found that if the general election was held today, 40 percent would back an unnamed “other candidate,” followed by 25 percent for Cornel West, 13 percent for Donald Trump, eight percent for Biden, seven percent for Robert F. Kennedy Jr, and seven percent for Jill Stein.

Based on the exit poll results, Robert McCaw, CAIR government affairs director, said: “Biden’s unconditional support for the Israeli government's genocide in Gaza is likely playing a decisive factor in impacting his support within the Muslim and Arab-American communities.”

Thirty thousand Palestinians have been killed so far in Gaza since the October 7 attack on Israel. How many more will die before the November election?

The destruction of Gaza is turning out to be Biden’s Vietnam.