Nielsen Company Appoints David Kenny CEO

Courtesy Photo


Veteran tech and advertising executive David Kenny has been appointed CEO of the Nielsen Company, parent of Nielsen Music, which provides much of the data for Billboard's menu of charts. Kenny starts Dec. 3 and will also be joining Nielsen's board of directors, the company said on Tuesday.

Kenny succeeds Mitch Barns, who earlier announced his retirement after 22 years with the company.

Until recently, Kenny served as senior vp of cognitive solutions at IBM, where he led the company's AI platform and portfolio. Previously, he held executive roles at The Weather Company and cloud service provider Akamai. He is also a co-founder and former CEO of digital marketing agency Digitas.

"His decades of experience in Big Data, artificial intelligence, cloud technologies, and media make him perfectly suited to lead Nielsen at this critical time," said James Attwood, executive chairman of Nielsen. "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."

Added Kenny, "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."

Kenny, 57, serves on the board of directors of Best Buy and Teach for America.


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