IBM Senior VP David Kenny Becomes Nielsen CEO

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IBM Senior VP David Kenny Becomes Nielsen CEO

David Kenny

The Nielsen Holdings Board of Directors announced that IBM senior vice president David Kenny will join Nielsen as chief executive officer effective Dec. 3, 2018. Kenny will also join Nielsen’s board.

Kenny succeeds Mitch Barns who, as previously announced, is retiring from the company on Dec. 31 after 22 years. 

Most recently, Kenny served as senior vp of cognitive solutions at IBM, where he led IBM's AI platform and portfolio. He also was responsible for developing IBM Watson and their cloud platform. 

Kenny previously was chairman and chief executive of The Weather Company, joining IBM after their acquisition of The Weather Company's product and technology business. He previously was president of cloud service provider Akamai and served as co-managing partner at Publicis' VivaKi. 

Kenny 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.

In other news, Nielsen’s board is continuing with its previously announced strategic review, led by James Attwood, executive board chairman. This includes a broad review of strategic alternatives for the entire company and its businesses. 

The strategic review might result in a broad range of alternatives, including:

  • continuing to operate as a public, independent company
  • a separation of either Nielsen's Watch or Buy segments
  • or a sale of the entire company

The board continues to work with a team of outside advisors, including JP Morgan Securities LLC, Guggenheim Securities LLC, and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and will provide further updates as appropriate.

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