Herbalife CEO to step down next year, COO to take over

Herbalife Ltd said Chief Executive Michael Johnson, who has been at the helm for the last 13 years, will step down next year and be replaced by Chief Operating Officer Richard Goudis.

Johnson will take up the role of executive chairman, the company said on Tuesday.

Goudis took over as COO in 2010, following a five-year stint as chief financial officer.

Herbalife also reported a 6.3 percent drop in third-quarter net income. The company, however, raised its full-year forecast for adjusted profit to a range of $4.65-$4.85 per share from $4.50-$4.80.

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who disclosed a 20.78 percent stake in the company in August, said he fully supported the board's choice of Goudis as the next CEO.

Activist investor Bill Ackman and Icahn have opposing bets on Los Angeles-based Herbalife. Ackman for years has accused Herbalife of running a pyramid scheme and bet that the stock would fall to zero.

The company's net income fell to $87.7 million, or $1.01 per share, in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, from $93.6 million, or $1.09 per share, a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, the company's earnings were $1.21 per share, topping the average analyst estimate of $1.09, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue rose 1.7 percent to $1.12 billion.

Herbalife's shares were down 1.7 percent in after-market trading.

(Reporting by Arunima Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)