POLITICS

Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Becomes Herbalife Adviser

Los Angeles former Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa

Los Angeles former Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa  (AP)

Someday, he’d like to be governor.

But for now, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is going to collect a paycheck working for a nutritional products company.

He'll be a senior adviser for Herbalife.

Villaraigosa will counsel its board and chairman on strategic business development and global community outreach.

Villaraigosa left the mayor's post in June after eight years in office. He says Herbalife has been a supporter of local charities.

“Herbalife has been a solid member of the Los Angeles business community and a strong presence within the Latino community since the company was founded here in 1980,” Villaraigosa said.

The Los Angeles Times reports that critics including some Latino civil rights groups contend Herbalife misleads people about the prospect of making money by selling its products. Latinos make up at least 60 percent of the company's U.S. distributors.

The company says it provides its salespeople with a valuable business opportunity, and its products help people lose weight and lead healthy lives.

"I absolutely think they're being victimized, and I think it's a really bad idea to become a distributor," Brent Wilkes, national executive director of the League of United Latin American Citizens, said in July, according to the Times.

In Herbalife’s news release, the Times notes, Villaraigosa said the company has “demonstrated its commitment to the city by choosing to locate its corporate offices in the LA Live complex and through its association with the LA Galaxy and the Herbalife LA Triathlon.”

“I'm excited to have the opportunity to work with the Herbalife leadership team to help the company continue to grow and contribute.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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