VNU’s New Owners Name CEO

NEW YORK VNU’s new owners Wednesday named General Electric executive David Calhoun as the company’s CEO and chairman of the executive board. He succeeds Rob Ruijter, who has served as interim CEO since June 13 and will continue as chief financial officer.

At GE, Calhoun was a vice chairman serving as president and CEO of GE Infrastructure, the largest of the company’s business segments. He was responsible for GE’s aviation, energy, oil and gas, transportation and water units, which had combined expected revenue of $47 billion in 2006 and more than 85,000 employees.

In his new position, Calhoun will lead VNU’s portfolio of global information and media and marketing research businesses, including ACNielsen, Nielsen Media Research, and business publications such as Adweek and Mediaweek. In 2005, the company had revenue of about $4.5 billion and 41,000 employees.

“David has spent more than 27 years at GE where he has built a world-class record of success. He is superbly qualified to take VNU to the next level of growth and performance as the company works efficiently and cohesively to enhance the value of its services, and pursues its many exciting strategic opportunities in the years ahead,” VNU’s supervisory board said, in a statement.

A privately owned consortium of private-equity investors including AlpInvest Partners, The Blackstone Group, The Carlyle Group, Hellman & Friedman, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and Thomas H. Lee Partners has privately owned VNU since June.