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Photo: Dan Chard, CEO and Board Director of Medifast Inc.

Take Shape For Life parent Medifast Inc. is bringing in a new CEO with expertise in the direct sales channel.

The wellness firm on Monday announced that Daniel Chard will succeed outgoing chief executive Michael MacDonald, who has led Medifast since 2012. MacDonald has served on the company’s board since 1998, and will continue in his role as Executive Chairman of the Board.

Chard, who is also joining the Medifast board, has spent the bulk of his nearly two-decade direct sales career with one of the channel’s top companies, in roles that included Executive Vice President of Distributor Success, President of Global Sales & Operations, and Europe President. He most recently served as President and CEO of a direct selling company in the home fragrance category. Early in his career, Chard held marketing roles with PUR Recovery Engineering and The Pillsbury Co.

“Dan’s unique combination of leadership skills across operational, international, and marketing roles will be a tremendous asset to our team as we build upon the success of Take Shape For Life and further optimize our unique multi-channel distribution model,” MacDonald said in the company’s announcement.

Chard’s appointment underscores the importance of Medifast’s direct selling division, Take Shape For Life, which accounted for 74 percent, or $273 million, of revenue in 2015. The company also sells products online, at Medifast Weight Control Centers, and through a national network of physicians.

“I am honored to succeed Mike as Medifast’s CEO and pleased to have his continued support and guidance,” said Chard. “With an experienced leadership team and dedicated Health Coaches, franchisees, business partners, customers, and employees, Medifast is well positioned to capitalize on numerous growth opportunities across its distribution channels both domestically and internationally.”

As Chard takes on the role of CEO, the company’s direct sales division is in the midst of a year-long transition from the Take Shape For Life brand to Optavia, a new name and lifestyle brand that was introduced at the Take Shape For Life National Convention in July. Initally, the company has introduced a new line of Optavia products available exclusively through its independent Health Coaches.

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