Arbitron Shakes Up Exec Staff

Six months after Bill Kerr took over as president and chief executive officer of Arbitron, he’s shaking up the research firm’s executive staff, undoing the organization put into place by his predecessor. Exiting the company in the reorganization are Alton Adams, evp, chief marketing officer and Robert Henrick, evp, customer solutions.

As part of the reorg, announced Thursday (June 24), Sean Creamer gets promoted to evp of U.S. media services, putting him in position to be the company’s next CEO. Creamer’s newly created position consolidates operations of the company’s radio and cross-platform services, the latter a key growth strategy for Arbitron. He will continue to serve as chief financial officer until the company recruits a replacement.

The company also said it was searching for a chief research officer.

A former member of Arbitron’s board of directors, Bill Kerr stepped in January, following the exit of Michael Skarzynski, who was sent packing over a misrepresentation in testimony to Congress. Since then, Kerr has moved swiftly to untangle several issues hanging over the company, most notably settling disputes with ethnic broadcasters over the portable people meter service.

“Over the past several months I have made it a top priority to meet with many of our customers and other key stakeholders,” Kerr said. “I have found that feedback invaluable and I have incorporated it into this realignment. I believe this new structure is customer-focused and collaborative, and can help support the growth of both the radio industry and the company.”

The new executive organization cuts Kerr’s direct reports in half to five. Tim Smith takes on the expanded role of evp of business development and strategy from evp and chief legal officer, legal and business affairs. Scott Henry was named evp, technology solutions, from evp, chief information officer. Carol Hanley was promoted to evp of sales and marketing, from svp, chief sales officer. Marilou Legge assumes additional responsibilities as evp for organization effectiveness and corporate communications, from svp, organization effectiveness and chief talent officer.

Off the executive staff are: Taymoor Arshi, svp, engineering and chief technology officer, who now reports to Scott Henry; and Steve Smith, evp, service operations, who now reports to Creamer. Earlier this year, Pierre Bouvard, evp, cross-platform services was moved off the executive staff, reporting to Creamer.

It’s been a busy week for Arbitron. The company eliminated a potential competitor by purchasing the technology, patents and trade name from Integrated Media Measurement, a company that used audio matching in smart phones to track consumer exposure to multiple media. The radio research firm also introduced the next generation of its portable people meter device, PPM 360, allowing the company to wireless upload listening data.