NEWS IN ENGLISH | Industry Veteran Mitch Barns To Be Nielsen’s Next Chief Executive Officer
Industry Veteran Mitch Barns To Be Nielsen’s Next Chief Executive Officer
2013-11-08 12:22:00

Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NYSE: NLSN), a leading global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy, today announced that effective Jan. 1, 2014, Dwight M. ("Mitch") Barns will succeed David L. Calhoun as Chief Executive Officer, reporting to the Board of Directors. Barns is a 28-year marketing veteran who has spent the last 16 years at Nielsen building broad experience leading the Company's core businesses globally, regionally and in the U.S. Calhoun will become Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors, at which time Nielsen's current Chairman of the Board, James M. Kilts, will step down as Chairman, but will remain a Board Member.

"Nielsen is successfully implementing its global strategy, and the time is right to name the next leader to take the company to its next phase of growth," said Calhoun. "Mitch's strong track record at the helm of a number of key Nielsen business units around the world - combined with his vision and commitment to our strategic plan - puts the company on solid footing for continued global expansion and value creation," he added. "I will continue to remain invested in Mitch's success in my new role."

"I am honored by this opportunity to serve Nielsen as its Chief Executive Officer, and I am thankful for the Board's vote of confidence," said Barns. "Throughout my 16 years at this company, I've been privileged to work side-by-side with talented leaders and associates in Nielsen businesses across the world. I look forward to continuing our work together to anticipate client needs with ongoing innovation and expand our footprint in developing markets, while consistently delivering growth and enhancing shareholder value," he added.

Barns is a long-time marketing expert who joined Nielsen in 1997. He is currently President, Global Client Service, overseeing $5.5 billion in revenue and leading the efforts of Nielsen's Watch and Buy client service teams worldwide. Earlier, Barns served as President of Nielsen's U.S. television ratings business, where he oversaw the transformation of the unit's client service model and architected the expansion and enhancement of its local ratings service. He also served as President, Greater China - where he led the transition to a fast-growing, stand-alone region - as well as global President of Nielsen's BASES and Analytic Consulting businesses, which have become the core of the company's growing insights services. Barns began his career at Procter & Gamble, where he spent 12 years in marketing research and brand management. He holds a B.S. in business administration from Miami University and completed the Stanford Executive Program at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Calhoun has served as Nielsen's Chief Executive Officer since joining the Company in August 2006, following a 26-year career with GE. He oversaw the transformation of Nielsen from a private company to a publicly traded corporation listed on the S&P 500. Calhoun's leadership was marked by a new vision, new values and a big commitment to develop Nielsen as an Academy Company. Calhoun has overseen a number of strategic acquisitions that increased Nielsen's capabilities and market share, including the recent acquisition of Arbitron. In his new capacity as Executive Chairman of the Board, Calhoun will remain actively engaged in the business, providing counsel to Barns and other executives into 2015. Calhoun has assured the Board that any new endeavor he takes on will accommodate this commitment. He will remain a substantial owner of Nielsen equity purchased and earned by him while CEO.