The current Chief Operating Officer of Herbalife (HLF), Rich Goudis, has interviewed twice with The Wall Street Transcript, both times while Mr. Goudis was the Chief Financial Officer. The first interview was published on June 6, 2005.
TWST: What compels investors to review Herbalife and include HLF in their current portfolios as well as in their longer-term investment strategies?
Mr. Goudis: It’s a couple of things. One, if you are looking for a company that has tremendous geographical diversification, Herbalife, as I mentioned, is in 59 markets. Our top 10 countries where we do business represent about 67% of our sales. So we’re tremendously diversified in our holding. We grew in the first quarter over 14%. So for those people who are growth oriented, I think we present a very good growth story, and that’s even before our entry into China.
For those people who are value-conscious, we provide a great opportunity in that we are trading at a discount to some of our more formidable peers from a multiple standpoint, and I think we have a lot more to offer than some of those companies, but just a matter of being public, proving ourselves, developing a track record of consistency. Hopefully, we’ll eclipse that multiple over some short period of time here. And then lastly, it goes back to, if you want to be in the health and wellness field, if you want to have international exposure or if you are looking for the benefit of FX, foreign currency, we do derive some of that benefit these days with the dollar being where it is. So I think there are many different facets and different views that you can look to play HLF.
The second interview was published on May 29, 2006, and included this excerpt.
TWST: What are the elements in your own background that led you to what you are doing now?
Mr. Goudis: I primarily have a financial background. I spent most of my youthful years at United Technologies in their financial management training program. I worked through some of their different divisions, and then got into the consumer product business in finance in companies like Sunbeam and Rexall Sundown. Rexall was where I also got thrust into being a Chief Operating Officer and got a real hands-on understanding of the nutritional supplement business. So I think I bring a unique experience and financial acumen in dealing with public companies and investors, while at the same time understanding the nutritional supplement business.
Mr. Goudis biography in The Wall Street Transcript illustrates his background and credentials at the time of the interviews:
Rich Goudis, Chief Financial Officer of Herbalife Ltd., has global responsibility for all financial and accounting activities for the company’s business operations in 62 markets around the world. Mr. Goudis brings a breadth of experience in many financial disciplines as well as a depth of understanding of the nutrition industry and network marketing. He has more than 20 years of financial management experience with industry leading companies such as Pratt & Whitney and Sunbeam Corporation and senior executive experience as Chief Operating Officer of Rexall Sundown. While at Rexall Sundown, Mr. Goudis was a member of the executive team that led the company through tremendous sales growth, including the expansion of Rexall Showcase International throughout Asia, while improving overall profitability. Most recently, Mr. Goudis was a Principal in Flamingo Capital Partners formed by former senior executives of Rexall.
In the latest proxy filing with the SEC for Herbalife, Mr. Goudis bio is as follows:
Richard Goudis is Chief Operating Officer of the Company and has held this position since January 2010. Mr. Goudis joined the Company in June 2004 as Chief Financial Officer after serving as the Chief Operating Officer of Rexall Sundown, a Nasdaq 100 company that was sold to Royal Numico in 2000, from 1998 to 2001. After the sale to Royal Numico, Mr. Goudis had operations responsibility for all of Royal Numico’s U.S. investments, including General Nutrition Centers, or GNC, Unicity International and Rexall Sundown. From 2002 to May 2004, Mr. Goudis was a partner at Flamingo Capital Partners, a firm he founded in 2002. Mr. Goudis also previously worked at Sunbeam Corporation and Pratt & Whitney. Mr. Goudis graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a degree in Accounting and he received his MBA from Nova Southeastern University.
Rexall Sundown designed several business initiatives that seem relevant to Herbalife’s business model including, including Turnkey.com as described in this South Florida Business Journal article.
Rexall Sundown was later sold to Royal Numico, which two and a half years later put it up for sale again, as described in this article in the Sun Sentinel.
Previously, Mr. Goudis worked at Sunbeam. In his book “Mean Business: How I Save Bad Companies and Make Good Companies Great,” Albert Dunlap describes Mr. Goudis as one of his “go to” executives: “Rich Goudis led the team that went into Nesoho, the small Missouri town where we manufacture our grills.”