CEO Michael Johnson and Herbalife have come under a Federal Trade Commission investigation after accusations brought forth by Bill Ackman and Pershing Square that claim that the company operates as an illegal pyramid scheme. Since then, professional as well as personal assaults have ricocheted between the two sides.
"Ignorance, it creates a lot of false impressions, and I happen to think that our attackers are ignorant about what we really do and who we really are," Johnson said in a recent interview with Los Angeles Magazine. "This is a war, and for any of us to think otherwise in here would be foolish, because this guy has spent $50 million dollars to try and ruin this company."
Herbalife's stock has been on a roller coaster since accusations began almost 20 months ago. However, Johnson maintains that the company is highly profitable. "Stock pricing is emotionally affected right now...We're going to be just fine. This company is going to be stronger and better than ever and that stock price will reflect the value that's truly in this company."
Ackman's claims prompted billionaire Carl Icahn, who has a long-standing grudge against the hedge fund activist, to come to the company's defense.
"Carl is a wise investor and people understand his wisdom. So his was obviously a strong confidence move and a good move for him and a mark of confidence for us." Johnson said.