Herbalife, the nutritional products company, has been "battling allegations that it operates an illegal pyramid scheme," the LA Times notes. A national Latino civil rights group also accused Herbalife of "misleading people about the prospect of making money selling its products." And now the company has hired what the Times calls "a new and unexpected advocate." That would be former Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
Villaraigosa, who left office June 30 after eight years as mayor, will serve as a senior advisor to Herbalife Chief Executive Michael O. Johnson and the company's board of directors, the company said Thursday in a news release.
Villaraigosa will counsel Herbalife on "strategic business development and global community outreach," the Los Angeles company said....
"Herbalife has been a solid member of the Los Angeles business community and a strong presence within the Latino community since the company was founded here in 1980," Villaraigosa, the first Latino mayor of modern L.A., said in a statement released by Herbalife.
Herbalife said its products help people lose weight and lead healthy lives, while providing its salespeople with a potentially rewarding business opportunity.
Villaraigosa wouldn't take questions. He previously got a part-time gig as a strategic advisor to Banc of California CEO Steven Sugarman and was named a visiting fellow this year at Harvard's Institute of Politics.