Nielsen Names David Kenny as New CEO Following Mitch Barns’ Retirement

He'll come into the position after Dec. 31

David Kenny will take over as CEO. Nielsen
Headshot of Sara Jerde

David Kenny will join Nielsen as its chief executive officer, the company announced today, coming from IBM where he oversaw its cognitive solutions business.

Kenny’s appointment comes amid increasing pressure from networks to come up with a dependable cross-platform measurement. As viewing habits change, measurement companies are increasingly tapped to determine how they’re consuming content and where they are as those platforms evolve.

“The board is delighted to announce David’s appointment,” said James Attwood, executive chairman of Nielsen, in a statement. “His decades of experience in big data, artificial intelligence, cloud technologies and media make him perfectly suited to lead Nielsen at this critical time.”

Kenny will replace Mitch Barns, who will retire on Dec. 31 after 22 years in the position.

Most recently, Kenny was svp of cognitive solutions at IBM, where he also developed IBM Watson and its cloud platform.

Kenny was also chairman and chief executive of The Weather Company before it was acquired by IBM, president of cloud service provider Akamai and co-founder, chairman and CEO of digital marketing agency Digitas.

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

@SaraJerde Sara Jerde is publishing editor at Adweek, where she covers traditional and digital publishers’ business models. She also oversees political coverage ahead of the 2020 election.
Publish date: November 20, 2018 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT