WPP’s Top Sorrell Replacement Pick Named Nielsen CEO

WPP’s Top Sorrell Replacement Pick Named Nielsen CEO
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A top pick to replace Martin Sorrell has been named the new Neilsen CEO.

David Kenny, who formerly led IBM’s Cognitive Solutions business, will join Nielsen as CEO on 3 December.

Speaking on the appointment, Nielsen executive chairman James Attwood said: “The Board is delighted to announce David’s appointment.

“His decades of experience in Big Data, artificial intelligence, cloud technologies, and media make him perfectly suited to lead Nielsen at this critical time.

“Having spent a substantial portion of his career working in the advertising world, he has a deep and holistic understanding of advertisers and how best to serve them, and he has a proven track record of implementing growth strategies, overseeing strategic transactions and creating value for stakeholders.

“His multi-disciplinary background and history of success make him a great fit for this position. The Board looks forward to David’s participation in the ongoing strategic review as we work to enhance shareholder value.”

Most recently, Kenny served as senior vice president of cognitive Solutions at IBM, where he led IBM’s AI platform and portfolio.

He was also responsible for developing IBM Watson and their cloud platform.

He previously was president of cloud service provider Akamai and served as co-managing partner at Publicis’ VivaKi.

He also co-founded and served as chairman and CEO of digital marketing agency Digitas continuing to lead the company after overseeing its sale to Publicis Groupe.

Prior to Digitas, he was a Partner at Bain & Company.

Speaking on the move, Kenny added: “Nielsen is uniquely placed at the intersection of marketing data and technology.

“In today’s era of fast moving, ever changing consumers and markets, it is this combination that drives businesses forward.

“I’m thrilled to join this industry-leading company at this point in time, when so much is possible,” Kenny said.

Kenny succeeds Mitch Barns who, as previously announced, is retiring from the company on December 31 after 22 years. The Board thanks him for his dedicated service and leadership.

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