Nielsen Names Jacqueline Woods as CMO of its Global Connect Division

Leading data analytics firm moves closer to establishing stand-alone CPG/retail business

Woods is scheduled to begin her new role in early December 2019.
Woods is scheduled to begin her new role in early December 2019.

Nielsen Holdings has announced that Jacqueline Woods will be joining the company as chief marketing officer of its Global Connect division, which provides CPG manufacturers and retailers with data insights on consumer trends.

“I am humbled and excited to join the team, as we begin to create the next chapter of Nielsen Global Connect’s brand story,” Woods said in a statement. “I look forward to working with Nielsen’s talented teams to help shape a smarter market for the rapidly evolving world of global commerce.”

The news comes as the market research firm plans to spin off its Global Connect segment from its Global Media business, widely known throughout the industry for providing audience measurement across multiple mediums.

Apart from overseeing all aspects of the company’s global marketing, Woods will be tasked with helping transform Nielsen Global Connect into an independent, publicly traded company. In her first few months on the job, some of her priorities will be to “assess and simplify Nielsen Global Connect’s brand architecture” and “strengthen Nielsen Global Connect’s value proposition and experience for clients,” according to a spokesperson.

The decision to break the company apart came after the firm conducted a comprehensive strategic review earlier this month, which found that two separate entities had more potential than one to both achieve long-term success and maximize shareholder value. Investment management firm Elliott Management Corp., which owns a sizable stake in the company and has urged Nielsen to consider selling itself, stands in support of the separation.

Woods is leaving IBM, where she most recently served as CMO for the IBM Partner Ecosystem, focusing on Cloud, AI, and SaaS technologies. With over two decades of experience, her career includes stops at Oracle, GE, and Verizon, among other companies. Woods, who will report to Nielsen Global Connect’s Chief Commercial Officer, Pat Dodd, is scheduled to begin her new role in early December 2019.

While the company has yet to name a CEO of Nielsen Global Connect, a spokesperson said the firm will be conducting a broad search of both internal and external candidates.

According to Nielsen, its Global Media segment generated around $3.4 billion in revenue in 2018, while its Global Connect division brought in $3.1 billion. Earlier this month, Nielsen reported a third-quarter net loss of $472 million, in part due to a $1 billion write-down of its Global Connect division, compared to a net income of $96 million in Q3 of 2018. Nielsen anticipates the split to occur sometime in the next nine to 12 months.

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