Julia Bailey, Senior Vice President, Chief Compliance Officer & Counsel, Herbalife Nutrition, Los Angeles, California
GZ: Thanks for taking the time to be interviewed for Compliance & Ethics Professional. Our readers may recognize Herbalife, but might not be familiar with its operations. Please give us a brief overview of the company’s products and the global extent of its operations.
JB: Herbalife Nutrition is a global nutrition company founded in 1980 that develops and markets a variety of weight management, targeted nutrition, sports and fitness, and other nutrition products, which are then sold through a network of independent distributors around the world. Our products, which include protein shakes and bars, teas, aloe, vitamins, and sports hydration products, are available in nearly a hundred countries, from Argentina to the U.S. to Zambia.
GZ: Many readers might mistakenly assume that Herbalife wouldn’t have many material compliance considerations like a pharmaceutical company might have. But it sounds like there are some pretty complicated compliance issues. What does the compliance regime look like for a global company like Herbalife?
JB: You’re right. Although we are not in the pharmaceutical industry, the nutrition supplement industry faces regulatory regimes that govern, for example, food, vitamins, advertising, and labeling. And as a U.S. publicly traded company, we also face the same type of compliance regimes that you would expect for other U.S. public companies. On top of this, as I mentioned, we operate around the globe and have interaction with government officials in some countries more than others, which necessitates additional oversight along with a variety of policies, procedures, and other internal controls.
GZ: For a global organization, staying on top of compliance-related developments and changing risks can be very difficult. How do you stay current on the numerous compliance developments that affect your company throughout the world?