March 11, 2022 – Executive recruiting firm True Search has assisted in the recruitment of Sima Sistani as the new chief executive officer of WW International (formerly WeightWatchers). Her appointment follows Mindy Grossman’s previously announced decision to step down as CEO at the end of the first quarter. To ensure a seamless transition, Ms. Grossman will now depart WW on March 18. Todd Zangrillo and Kristin Godfrey, co-leaders of the firm’s consumer practice, led the assignment along with senior associate Lely DeSimone. “We are so excited for Sima Sistani and couldn’t imagine a more transformational leader to help shape the next phase of growth for WW,” said Mr. Zangrillo. “Her alignment to the mission, community, and business is unparalleled and we are confident she will do great things.”
“Sima is an innovator and a true disrupter, starting with her role at Yahoo, proving herself a visionary as co-creator of the social media phenomenon Houseparty and continuing today through her current role at Epic Games,” said Raymond Debanne, chair of the board of directors, WW. “Her vision and expertise in the digital, social, and gaming spaces perfectly position her to help lead us through this historic moment as the world emerges from the pandemic and as people begin to reprioritize their physical health and wellness.”
“What immediately struck me about Sima beyond her own personal experience as a WW member was her ability to envision alternative realities at the intersection of the social and digital worlds,” said Oprah Winfrey, celebrity spokesperson for the company. “She is passionate and purposeful about building community, and I am excited to partner with her as we continue to spread the word of WW around the globe.”
“I had the pleasure of first meeting Sima over two years ago and she immediately impressed me with her passion, her drive, her focus on purpose, and her creative approach to building businesses fueled by innovation and community,” said Ms. Grossman. “She is an inspired leader, and I am confident that she is the right person at the right time to lead WW into its next phase of growth.”
Ms. Sistani co-founded Houseparty in 2016 as a face-to-face synchronous social network with the intention of bringing empathy to online communication. Under her leadership, it grew to a community of over 150 million users and was acquired by Epic Games in 2019. At Epic, she serves as the senior executive leading social gameplay and feature development for their gaming products including Fortnite. Previously, Ms. Sistani led mobile growth operations at Yahoo during a pivotal transition to mobile-first. After Yahoo acquired Tumblr in 2013, Ms. Sistani became its first head of media.
“I am thrilled and honored to be joining WW at such a pivotal moment,” said Ms. Sistani. “I have spent the better part of my career building digital communities with empathy and belonging at their core. I look at WW as being the original social network — gathering people together around a shared interest in health and weight loss to transform lives. I am passionate about our mission and believe deeply in our ability to have tremendous global impact while focused on creating value for all of our stakeholders going forward.”
WW is a human-centric technology company powered by the world’s leading commercial weight management program. A global wellness company, WW inspires millions of people to adopt healthy habits.
Serving the Private and Public Sectors
Working in both the private and public sectors, True Search has offices throughout the U.S. as well as the EMEA and APAC regions. Since the late 1990s, the firm’s founders have refined their search process with a blend of data-centric insights, relationship-building, and experience to produce a methodology that consistently improves hiring decisions and accelerates growth. Its clients include Jet, Work Front and Summit Partners. True Search is a subsidiary of True Platform, a global portfolio of human capital services and products for high-growth tech and tech-enabled organizations. True recently placed No. 7 on the Hunt Scanlon Media “Top 50 Recruiters” ranking.
A tech growth-company builder for more than 20 years, Mr. Zangrillo co-leads the firm’s consumer practice. He conducts a range of CxO searches for True clients across a broad number of sectors. The consumer team’s breadth of knowledge and expertise within consumer internet, beauty, retail and fashion, food, travel and hospitality, and digital media and entertainment provides a strong multi-faceted approach. Prior to joining True, he served as the human resources business partner with eBay’s E-commerce technology organization.
Executive recruiting firm True Search has assisted in the recruitment of Dan Park as the new chief executive officer of Imperfect Foods, a sustainability-minded online grocer. Todd Zangrillo and Kristin Godfrey, co-leaders of the firm’s consumer practice, led the assignment along with senior associate James Rigano. “Dan is a perfect fit for the Imperfect Foods CEO role,” said Mr. Zangrillo. “This role requires a deep understanding of e-commerce, as well as the analytical ability to optimize a very complex supply chain to drive superior unit economics in the food delivery space. But one thing that is unique here is the company’s commitment to the mission of reducing food waste.”
As co-head of the consumer practice, Ms. Godfrey leads board and C-suite searches for True across the consumer sector with a specialization in marketing and CEO/COO roles. She partners with high-growth businesses at all stages, from series A start-ups through publicly traded companies. Prior to joining True, Ms. Godfrey was VP of talent and human resources at Thrive Market.
Ms. DeSimone works within True’s CEO/BOD practice in the New York office. Prior to joining True Search, she was at Korn Ferry where she worked in the firm’s sports practice.
Mr. Zangrillo recently led the president search for CrossFit with the recruitment of Jason Dunlop as president. “Jason is a perfect fit for the CrossFit president role,” said Mr. Zangrillo. “He brings a high growth and entrepreneurial mindset, coupled with true global experience in leading and managing omni-channel and franchise businesses at scale. He’s completely connected to the mission and loves building community,” he said. “He is a consumer-centric leader with a proven track record and authentic passion for building and leading diverse, high performing teams and creating an inclusive and dynamic team environment.”
As the executive responsible for Nike’s direct-to-consumer (D2C) business across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Mr. Dunlop directed Nike store growth and digital expansion by focusing on consumers and his team, helping position Nike as the leading sports brand across the region. “Jason’s expertise leading the hypergrowth of some of the world’s leading brands across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa will be a powerful driver for achieving CrossFit’s mission,” said Eric Roza, CEO of CrossFit.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media