Disney Exec Named Herbalife CEO


Michael O. Johnson, president of Walt Disney International and a 17-year company veteran, Thursday joined dietary supplement giant Herbalife International as its chief executive.

“It’s a chance to be CEO of a Los Angeles company that I think has a great future,” said Johnson, 48. Herbalife executives cited Johnson’s experience expanding global businesses.

Johnson is the latest in a series of high-profile executives who have left Walt Disney Co. in recent years to pursue careers elsewhere. Last year, Disney theme parks chief Paul Pressler left to head Gap Inc.


“This is a tribute to the strength and depth of Disney’s executive bench that other companies continue to find their leaders from among our ranks,” Disney President Bob Iger said.

He praised Johnson for helping to “expand the Disney brand globally.”

Johnson is credited with building Disney’s international home video business and working to streamline and better coordinate Disney’s overseas operations.

He led the company’s acquisition of the film library of Japanese director-animator Hayao Miyazaki, whose films include the Academy Award-winning movie “Spirited Away.”

Johnson now will head one of the world’s largest weight management and nutritional supplement firms. He replaces Frank Tirelli, who left the privately held company last year.