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Medifast replaces CEO with industry veteran

Weight loss company Medifast Inc. has replaced CEO Michael MacDonald with a veteran of the direct selling industry, the Owings Mills firm said Monday.

Daniel "Dan" R. Chard became CEO and a member of Medifast's board Monday, the company said in an announcement after the stock market closed. MacDonald, a board member since 1998 and CEO since February 2012, will remain with the company as executive chairman of the board.

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Chard, former president and COO of PartyLite, an affiliate of a portfolio company of The Carlyle Group, was chosen by a search committee led by MacDonald and Glenn Welling, a Medifast independent director.

MacDonald said the management changes come at a time of transition for the company. It has launched new products under the Optavia brand, which are sold by health coaches who work with clients through Medifast's Take Shape For Life subsidiary. The new brand is part of a strategy to expand the health coach program globally.

Chard has more than 25 years of direct selling and consumer products experience. Before his time at PartyLite, Chard held various jobs over 17 years at Nu Skin Enterprises Inc., including executive vice president of distributor success and president of global sales & operations. Previously, he had marketing roles at PUR Recovery Engineering and The Pillsbury Co.

"Medifast is well positioned to capitalize on numerous growth opportunities across its distribution channels both domestically and internationally," Chard said in the announcement.

The company also said it expects to meet or exceed third quarter guidance for revenue from continuing operations in the range of about $64 million to $67 million and for earnings of 43 cents to 46 cents per share.

Medifast's compensation committee approved a one-time sign-on equity award for Chard of restricted shares with a $600,000 value that will vest one-third per year on each of the first, second, and third anniversaries of the grant date. He also will receive 210,000 deferred shares that will vest based upon performance goals over three years.

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