Nielsen Makes Strategic Management Hires

Jim Dudlicek
Editorial Director
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David Rawlinson is joining Nielsen Global Connect as its new CEO

In its latest step toward creating two separate publicly traded companies later this year, Nielsen Holdings has hired two experienced executives to lead the new offshoot venture.

David Rawlinson, currently the president of the global online business at Grainger, will become CEO of Nielsen’s Global Connect business, and Linda Zukauckas will join the company as chief financial officer, both effective Feb. 3.

Rawlinson joins from Grainger, a broad-line supplier of maintenance, repair and operating products serving businesses and institutions. He has significant experience running a digital business-to-business company, as well as a strong international background and a track record of driving growth. He will become the CEO of the newly created public company, currently referred to as Nielsen Global Connect, at the time of the separation. Rawlinson also is a member of Nielsen’s board of directors.

“I’ve been struck by Nielsen Global Connect’s technology, the focus on making client decision-making easier and the team’s unwavering commitment to integrity,” Rawlinson said. “Nielsen Global Connect has made tremendous progress in strengthening its operations and competitive position, and I believe that we can build upon this and further enhance our leadership position.”

Zukauckas has been with American Express since 2011, most recently serving as executive vice president and deputy CFO. At the time of the separation, she will remain as CFO of Nielsen’s global media business.

“I’m happy to join a company that is so critical to ensuring effective market dynamics in the global media and FMCG spaces,” Zukauckas said. “The recent clarity regarding Nielsen’s path forward influenced my decision to join the company at this pivotal moment. Nielsen’s improved operating performance is a testament to leadership’s focus on delivering results while continuing to invest in products that provide valuable insights to Nielsen clients.”

Nielsen CEO David Kenny said both executives “bring a wealth of relevant and valuable experience” to the company. “Both will have a great deal of impact on the current company and will have significant roles in the new companies moving forward,” he said.

Rawlinson joined Grainger in July 2012 and previously served as VP of operations for global online business, as well as deputy general counsel and corporate secretary. Rawlinson served as a White House Fellow and in appointed positions for the George W. Bush and Obama Administrations.

In addition to deputy CFO, Zukauckas served as chief accounting officer and global controller at American Express. Earlier, she held various senior leadership roles at Ally Financial.

New York-based Nielsen Holdings PLC is a global measurement and data analytics company divided into two business units: Nielsen Global Media, which provides media and advertising industries with metrics that create a shared understanding of the industry required for markets to function; and Nielsen Global Connect, which provides consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers with accurate, actionable information and insights and a complete picture of the complex and changing marketplace that companies need to innovate and grow.