Herbalife began in 1980 when founder Mark Hughes began selling supplements from the trunk of his car. Hughes began creating nutritional supplements after his mother Joanne died from an eating disorder. Herbalife’s first product was a protein shake designed to help people lose weight.
By 1982, the company was growing quickly and had expanded to Canada.
In 1985 the company was sued by the California Attorney General for misleading claims. The suit was settled for $850,000.
In 1986, the company went public.
In 2000, Mark Hughes died from an overdose of alcohol and prescription medicine.
In 2002, the company was acquired and taken private by J.H. Whitney and Golden Gate Capital.
In 2003, Michael Johnson joined the company as CEO.
In 2004, the company went public again.
Today, Herbalife distributes their products in 88 countries through a network of 2.7 million independent distributors.