Nielsen names insider Karthik Rao as new CEO

(Reuters) – Nielsen named company insider Karthik Rao as its chief executive officer, effective immediately, the market research company said on Thursday.

David Kenny, who was the CEO since 2018, would become the executive chairman.

Since early 2023, the 23-year veteran Rao has served as the chief of Nielsen’s audience measurement business. Prior to this, he served as Nielsen’s chief operating officer for three years.

Nielsen gathers viewership data across television, radio and digital platforms that are used by advertisers and others to determine prime-time hours, but it has been under pressure as more cord-cutters move to streaming.

Last year in March, the company had agreed to go private in a $10.06 billion deal with private equity firms led by Elliot Investment Management and Brookfield Asset management.

(Reporting by Jaspreet Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shilpi Majumdar)