Last year, John Peterson earned an estimated $3 million as a sales man for embattled nutritional products company Herbalife (HLF). But earlier this month, the man who had been named to the company’s exclusive “Founder’s Circle” of leading distributors, committed suicide.
Police say the 58-year-old Peterson was found dead in his truck outside his Steamboat Springs, Colo., ranch. He apparently killed himself with a single gunshot to the head, the New York Post notes.
Investors didn’t like the news, sending Herbalife shares down more than 3% in Monday mid-day trading.
In a memo to company employees, Herbalife CEO Michael Johnson said Peterson died after a “tragic accident.”
Peterson once headed Work From Home Inc., which recruited new sales people for Herbalife. Similar lead-generation businesses drew complaints from federal regulators. The company ceased buying and selling leads earlier this year.
The company has denied accusations from activist investor Bill Ackman that it is a pyramid scheme.