Nielsen Company CEO Mitch Barns to Retire at End of Year

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Mitch Barns, CEO of the Nielsen Company, is leaving the position at the end of 2018. The Nielsen Company is parent of Nielsen Music, which provides Billboard with much of its chart data.

As the search for a new CEO begins immediately, James Attwood, current chairman of the board and a managing director at The Carlyle Group, has been named executive chairman. 

Since joining the company more than 20 years ago, Barns has held leadership roles across all major parts of Nielsen’s business – working in the U.S., Europe and Asia, as well as the Media and FMCG sectors. During his tenure, he has guided the company through the transformation of the Watch segment led by its Total Audience Measurement strategy. He also led the acquisitions of Gracenote and vBrand.

"Mitch has left an indelible mark on Nielsen -- his commitment to integrity, openness, values and engagement will continue to be the heart of this company for years to come," commented Attwood in a statement. "I, along with the rest of the Board of Directors, thank him for his service."