Weight Watchers makes change at the top

by Eric Schroeder
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NEW YORK — James R. Chambers has been named president and chief executive officer of Weight Watchers International, Inc. He succeeds David P. Kirchhoff, who has resigned after 14 years at the company, including six-and-a-half years as c.e.o., to pursue other opportunities.

Mr. Chambers joined Weight Watchers in January as president and chief operating officer. He has more than 30 years of general management, cross-functional operational management and executive leadership experience in varied consumer-focused global industries. Most recently he was president of the U.S. Snacks and Confectionary business unit and general manager of the Immediate Consumption Channel of Kraft Foods Inc.

Earlier, he held various roles in the North America business unit of Cadbury P.L.C., including as president and c.e.o. He began his career at Nabisco, Inc. and also held various executive positions with Remy Cointreau, Paxonix Inc., NetGrocer.com, Inc. and Information Resources, Inc.

Mr. Chambers received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at Princeton University and a master’s degree in business administration at the Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania.

“Jim’s strengths in both operations and consumer insights make him uniquely qualified to lead this business and take it to new levels going forward,” said Ray Debbane, chairman of the board. “He has a successful track record of developing and executing winning strategies, and we have every confidence in his ability to drive the company’s long-term growth.”

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